Data from: Does allopreening control avian ectoparasites?

Scott M. Villa, Graham B. Goodman, James S. Ruff & Dale H. Clayton
For birds, the first line of defence against ectoparasites is preening. The effectiveness of self-preening for ectoparasite control is well known. By contrast, the ectoparasite control function of allopreening—in which one birds preens another—has not been rigorously tested. We infested captive pigeons with identical numbers of parasitic lice, and then compared rates of allopreening to the abundance of lice on the birds over time. We documented a negative relationship between rates of allopreening and the...
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