Co-evolution between Australian cuckoos and their hosts

A range of projects are available to explore the tactics deployed by cuckoos to fool their hosts, and the reciprocal strategies that have evolved in hosts to defend themselves against brood parasites

Cuckoos lay their eggs in the nests of other species, and then abandon their young to the care of the host. They have evolved sophisticated tactics to fool their hosts into rearing their young, including eggs that are cryptic against the nest background, and eggs and chicks that mimic host young. I have a range of projects available on several different cuckoo-host systems to explore these coevolutionary processes.

Image: A Pallid Cuckoo chick is being fed by its host parent, a White-plumed Honeyeater. Photo courtesy of WPH Robinson.