Data from: True recognition of nestlings by hosts selects for mimetic cuckoo chicks

Hee-Jin Noh, Ros Gloag & Naomi E. Langmore
Cuckoos lay their eggs in other birds’ nests, whereafter the young cuckoo hatches, ejects its nestmates, and monopolizes the care of the host parents. Theory predicts that hosts should not evolve to recognize and reject cuckoo chicks because of the risk of mistakenly imprinting on a cuckoo chick in their first brood and thereafter always rejecting their own chicks. However, recent studies have revealed some hosts do reject cuckoo chicks from the nest, indicating that...
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