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Benefits of begging for yellow-headed blackbird nestlings

Authors
Journal
Animal Behaviour
0003-3472
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
56
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1006/anbe.1998.0832

Abstract

Abstract For begging to benefit chicks, parents must respond to increased begging by bringing more food. To investigate whether parents change their provisioning in response to begging levels, I enhanced the begging levels of broods of yellow-headed blackbirds, Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus, using recorded vocalizations. In a short-term experiment, females and males doubled their visits to broods without reducing their load sizes during 2 h of playback. Nestlings gained more mass during the playback period than during a 2-h control period. In a long-term experiment, nestlings gained more mass in nests from which begging calls were broadcast over a 5-day period than nestlings in nests without playback.

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