, Volume 74, Issue 6, pp 691–694 | Cite as

Troglodytes troglodytes – probable destructor of eggs of Cinclus cinclus

  • Lucia HrčkováEmail author
  • Mária Balážová
  • Zlatica Országhová
  • Michal Baláž
Short Communication


Interspecific or intraspecific destruction of eggs by other small bird species (Passeriformes) is a relatively rare behaviour. It is known from studies of several new world species from families Mimidae and Troglodytidae, but it has never been documented in the Eurasian wren (Troglodytes troglodytes). While studying the breeding biology of the white-throated dipper (Cinclus cinclus) in northern part of Central Slovakia, we documented seven events (frequency 1.8%) when Eurasian wren occupied a dipper’s nest during the breeding season. None of these breeding attempts by the dippers was successful. In all cases, the breeding pairs abandoned their nest. Except of these seven cases, we also found an abandoned nest (situated in the nest box under a bridge) with damaged eggs of the white-throated dipper. According to the intact nest bottom, we hypothesise that the nest was not predated. Here we probably describe the first case of egg destruction by the Eurasian wren in Europe.


Cinclidae Competition Egg destruction Nest occupation Nest site shortage Troglodytidae 



We thank T. Flajs for field assistance, A. J. Billingham for language editing and two anonymous reviewers for valuable comments to the manuscript.


This Study was supported by Comenius University Grant (UK/358/2018).

Compliance with ethical standards

Our work was in accordance with the ethical standards and complied with laws of the Slovak republic.

Conflict of interest

All the authors listed have approved this manuscript and worked equally and there is no conflict of interest to publish this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Institute of Zoology, Slovak Academy of Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Zoology, Faculty of Natural SciencesComenius UniversityBratislavaSlovakia
  2. 2.Department of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of EducationCatholic UniversityRužomberokSlovakia

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