Forum > Birds In The News > Neural Basis For Parasitic Cowbird's Secret Password Identified By Researchers

Webmaster Posted 18-Apr-2017 12:08
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From Science Daily and Guardian on 18-Apr-2017 12:08

If you are raised by other species, then how do you know who you are? Although heterospecific foster parents rear brood parasitic brown-headed cowbird chicks, juvenile cowbirds readily recognize and affiliate with other cowbirds. That's because they have a secret handshake or password. Specifically, the "password" hypothesis helps explain this paradox of species recognition: Social recognition processes in brood parasites are initiated by exposure to a password: in the case of cowbirds, a specific chatter call.

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