Large hawk-cuckoo Hierococcyx sparveroides parasitism on the Chinese babax Babax lanceolatus may be an evolutionary recent host-parasite system
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionIbis. 2012, 154 (1), 200-204. 10.1111/j.1474-919X.2011.01192.x
We documented brood parasitism by the poorly studied Large Hawk-Cuckoo on a previously unknown host species, the Chinese Babax. Furthermore, we describe a new egg colour for the Large Hawk-Cuckoo. The parasitism rate of Chinese Babax nests over 4 years was 6.9% (11 of 159 nests), with significant temporal variation. The Large Hawk-Cuckoo laid immaculate white eggs that appeared non-mimetic to the blue Babax eggs, an impression that was confirmed by avian visual modelling. Nevertheless, most Cuckoo eggs were accepted by the host, suggesting that this host–parasite system may be evolutionarily recent.