Advertisement

Journal of Ethology

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 145–150 | Cite as

White-rumped swallows prospect while they are actively nesting

  • Uschi Wischhoff
  • Fernando Marques-Santos
  • Daniel R. Ardia
  • James J. Roper
Article

Abstract

Nest prospecting, that is, visiting potential future nest sites, may be a widespread bird behavior. Here we describe apparent prospecting while nesting by white-rumped swallows (Hirundinidae, Aves). In southern Brazil, birds tagged with passive-integrated transponders (PIT-tags) and breeding in nest boxes with PIT-tag readers: (1) often visited nest boxes that were in use by apparently unrelated birds (54 % of nests were visited at least once), (2) visited other boxes while caring for their own nestlings, (3) tended to have smaller broods than birds that were not recorded visiting, and (4) did not have a preference for any particular box. These patterns do not indicate any clear explanation for nest visiting, but they do show that prospecting is done by floaters (non-breeders) as well as actively breeding individuals. We suggest that these visits occur when time is available and that visitors may be assessing the availability of future nest sites.

Keywords

Passive integrated transponder Prospecting behavior Nest box Nest intruder Nest-site inspection Non-parental visit Tachycineta leucorrhoa 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank the Brazilian government agency Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) for scholarships to UW and FMS; SANEPAR and the Environmental Institute of Paraná (IAP) for permits to work in the study areas; CEMAVE for banding licenses; the Graduate Program of Ecology and Conservation of the Federal University of Paraná for support; Eli Bridge for technical assistance on construction and programming of RFID equipment; and João Batista Pinho, Lilian Tonelli Manica, Robert Thomson, and two anonymous reviewers for comments on the manuscript.

References

  1. Bonebrake TC, Beissinger SR (2010) Predation and infanticide influence ideal free choice by a parrot occupying heterogeneous tropical habitats. Oecologia 163:385–393. doi: 10.1007/s00442-010-1566-8 CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bridge E, Bonter D (2011) A low-cost radio frequency identification device for ornithological research. J F Ornithol 82:52–59. doi: 10.1111/j.1557-9263.2010.00307.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cockburn A (1998) Evolution of helping behavior in cooperatively breeding birds. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 29:141–177. doi: 10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.29.1.141 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Czechowski P, Zduniak P (2005) Intraspecific brood parasitism in barn swallows Hirundo rustica nesting in bunkers. Acta Ornithol 40:162–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Doligez B, Pärt T, Danchin E (2004) Prospecting in the collared flycatcher: gathering public information for future breeding habitat selection? Anim Behav 67:457–466. doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2003.03.010 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dunn EH (1979) Age of effective homeothermy in nestling tree swallows according to brood size. Wilson Bull 91:455–457Google Scholar
  7. Eadie JM, Gauthier G (1985) Prospecting for nest sites by cavity-nesting ducks of the genus Bucephala. Condor 87:528–534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ferretti V, Massoni V, Bulit F, Winkler DW, Lovette IJ (2011) Heterozygosity and fitness benefits of extra-pair mate choice in white-rumped swallows (T. leucorrhoa). Behav Ecol 22:1178–1186. doi: 10.1093/beheco/arr103 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. GDLA [Golondrinas de las Americas] (2011) Nest box design. Accessed 30 July 2013 http://golondrinas.cornell.edu/Data_and_Protocol/NestBoxDesignCentimeters.html
  10. Greenwood PJ, Harvey PH (1982) The natal and breeding dispersal of birds. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 13:1–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Holroyd GL (1975) Nest site availability as a factor limiting population size of swallows. Can Field Nat 89:60–64Google Scholar
  12. Lenda M, Maciusik B, Skórka P (2012) The evolutionary, ecological and behavioural consequences of the presence of floaters in bird populations. North–West J Zool 8:394–408Google Scholar
  13. Lombardo MP (1986) Attendants at tree swallow nests. I. Are attendants helpers at the nest? Condor 88:297–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lombardo MP (1987a) Attendants at tree swallow nests II. The exploratory-dispersal hypothesis. Condor 89:138–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lombardo MP (1987b) Attendants at tree swallow nests. III. Parental responses to live and stuffed-model attendants. Condor 89:768–778. doi: 10.2307/1368524 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Massoni V, Bulit F, Reboreda JC (2007) Breeding biology of the white-rumped swallow T. leucorrhoa in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. Ibis 149:10–17. doi: 10.1111/j.1474-919X.2006.00589.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ottosson U, Bäckman J, Smith HG (2001) Nest-attenders in the pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) during nestling rearing: a possible case of prospective resource exploration. Auk 118:1069–1072. doi:10.1642/0004-8038(2001)118[1069:NAITPF]2.0.CO;2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Parejo D, Pérez-Contreras T, Navarro C et al (2008) Spotless starlings rely on public information while visiting conspecific nests: an experiment. Anim Behav 75:483–488. doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2007.05.012 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Pärt T, Doligez B (2003) Gathering public information for habitat selection: prospecting birds cue on parental activity. P Roy Soc Lond B Biol 270:1809–1813. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2003.2419 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Petrie M, Møller AP (1991) Laying eggs in others’ nests: intraspecific brood parasitism in birds. Trends Ecol Evol 6:315–320CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Reed J, Boulinier T, Danchin E, Oring L (1999) Informed dispersal: prospecting by birds for breeding sites. Curr Ornithol 15:189–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Schuett W, Laaksonen J, Laaksonen T (2012) Prospecting at conspecific nests and exploration in a novel environment are associated with reproductive success in the jackdaw. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 66:1341–1350. doi: 10.1007/s00265-012-1389-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Skutch AF (1961) Helpers among birds. Condor 63:198–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Stutchbury BJ (1991) Floater behaviour and territory acquisition in male purple martins. Anim Behav 42:435–443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Stutchbury BJ, Robertson RJ (1987) Behavioral tactics of subadult female floaters in the tree swallow. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 20:413–419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Thomson RL, Sirkiä PM, Villers A, Laaksonen T (2013) Temporal peaks in social information: prospectors investigate conspecific nests after a simulated predator visit. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 67:905–911. doi: 10.1007/s00265-013-1513-x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Valone TJ, Templeton JJ (2002) Public information for the assessment of quality: a widespread social phenomenon Philos T Roy. Soc B 357:1549–1557CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Japan Ethological Society and Springer Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Uschi Wischhoff
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fernando Marques-Santos
    • 1
    • 2
  • Daniel R. Ardia
    • 3
  • James J. Roper
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Pós-graduação Em Ecologia E Conservação, Setor de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade Federal Do ParanáCuritibaBrazil
  2. 2.Pós-graduação Em Ecologia, Conservação E Manejo de Vida SilvestreUniversidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil
  3. 3.Department of BiologyFranklin and Marshall CollegeLancasterUSA
  4. 4.Pós-graduação Em Ecologia de EcossistemasUniversidade Vila VelhaVila VelhaBrazil

Personalised recommendations