acta ethologica

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 69–74

Nestling presence affects the anti-predator response of adult superb fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus)

  • Diane Colombelli-Négrel
  • Jeremy Robertson
  • Sonia Kleindorfer
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10211-010-0072-7

Cite this article as:
Colombelli-Négrel, D., Robertson, J. & Kleindorfer, S. acta ethol (2010) 13: 69. doi:10.1007/s10211-010-0072-7

Abstract

Nest predation accounts for the majority of nesting failure, and hence there has been strong selection on behaviour to reduce nest predation, including patterns of nest defence. Here, we test risk-taking behaviour to experimentally placed predators in the presence or absence of nestlings. We use the superb fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) to test the prediction that vigilance will be comparable with and without nestlings, but that alarm vocalisations will increase when nestlings are present. We found support for both predictions. Adult vigilance of predators was comparable with and without nestlings. Alarm vocalisation intensity was predicted by predator type and nestling presence, and was highest to the snake model in the presence of nestlings. These results point to selection for differentiated nest defence response in relation to predator type and the presence or absence of nestlings.

Keywords

Alarm vocalisationsMalurus cyaneusParental carePredationRisk assessmentNest defence

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag and ISPA 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diane Colombelli-Négrel
    • 1
  • Jeremy Robertson
    • 1
  • Sonia Kleindorfer
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia