Agriculture
New Gene Fights Potato Blight
Microbes at the Gas Pump
Vitamin D-licious Mushrooms
Amphibians
Poison Dart Frogs
Salamanders
Salamanders and Newts
Animals
Staying Away from Sick Lobsters
Lives of a Mole Rat
Thieves of a Feather
Behavior
Training Your Brain to Feel Less Pain
World’s largest lizard is venomous too
Pollution at the ends of the Earth
Birds
Kiwis
Cranes
Nightingales
Chemistry and Materials
Silk’s superpowers
Picture the Smell
Hitting the redo button on evolution
Computers
Play for Science
New eyes to scan the skies
Nonstop Robot
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Dinosaur Eggs-citement
Fossil Forests
A Living Fossil
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Earth
Giving Sharks Safe Homes
Slower Growth, Greater Warmth
Hints of Life in Ancient Lava
Environment
Cactus Goo for Clean Water
Food Web Woes
Flu river
Finding the Past
Fakes in the museum
Stone Age Sole Survivors
Stonehenge Settlement
Fish
Mako Sharks
Bull Sharks
Parrotfish
Food and Nutrition
Yummy bugs
Building a Food Pyramid
Packing Fat
GSAT English Rules
Capitalization Rules
Adjectives and Adverbs
Who vs. Whom
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
Tarrant High overcoming the odds
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Mathematics
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Math is a real brain bender
Play for Science
Human Body
Smiles Turn Away Colds
From Stem Cell to Any Cell
Don't Eat That Sandwich!
Invertebrates
Mollusks
Spiders
Millipedes
Mammals
Cheetah
Cocker Spaniels
Capybaras
Parents
Children and Media
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Physics
IceCube Science
Einstein's Skateboard
Spin, Splat, and Scramble
Plants
Pumping Up Poison Ivy
Flower family knows its roots
Assembling the Tree of Life
Reptiles
Iguanas
Caimans
Boa Constrictors
Space and Astronomy
Galaxies Divide Sharply Along Color Lines
Ready, Set, Supernova
Catching a Comet's Tail
Technology and Engineering
Reach for the Sky
Musclebots Take Some Steps
Switchable Lenses Improve Vision
The Parts of Speech
What is a Verb?
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Adjectives and Adverbs
Transportation
Flying the Hyper Skies
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Reach for the Sky
Weather
Catching Some Rays
Science loses out when ice caps melt
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
Add your Article

Revenge of the Cowbirds

Cowbirds are famous for their wily ways. These North American birds sneak into the nests of other birds, lay their eggs, and quickly escape before the owners return. They don't do any of the hard work it takes to raise chicks. Instead, they leave the parenting to the nest's owners. Given cowbirds' reputation, that's not totally surprising. But here's what might come as a shock. Even though the birds that live in these nests don't belong to the cowbird species, most of them adopt the big, hungry cowbird chicks and raise them as their own. Scientists have long wondered why the new parents raise the greedy chicks. New evidence now suggests that sometimes the birds have little choice. If they kick the moocher chicks out of the nest, the cowbird parents seek revenge. For a decade, researchers from the Illinois Natural History Survey in Champaign and the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville have been monitoring warbler nests in boxes in southern Illinois. During that time, they often saw cowbird eggs in the warbler nests. The nest boxes sit on poles that the scientists have covered with grease to protect the eggs and chicks from raccoons, snakes, and other predators. Then, in 2002, the scientists tried something new. They removed the cowbird eggs from the warbler nests. Suddenly, unknown attackers started to destroy warbler eggs. But the damage wasn't evenly spread among the nests. The scientists found that that warbler eggs were damaged in only 6 percent of nests that held cowbird eggs. A whopping 56 percent of the warbler eggs were destroyed in the nests from which the scientists had removed cowbird eggs. The scientists suspected that the cowbirds might be the culprits, but they needed to prove it. To do so, they removed cowbird eggs from the nests and then changed the entrance hole to keep the cowbirds from returning. When the suspected attackers couldn't get into the nests, the warbler eggs remained untouched. Cowbirds, researchers concluded, are like mafia members: If a warbler doesn't give them what they want and raise their chicks, the parent retaliates. It's a tough balance for the warblers. When their nests are invaded, cowbird chicks eat so much food that some warbler chicks starve. Still, the scientists say, more warbler chicks survived in this group of nests than in the group where researchers removed the cowbird eggs. Too many of those nests were attacked by vengeful cowbird parents. Sometimes, this study suggests, it's better to put up with a bully than to try to fight back.—E. Sohn

Revenge of the Cowbirds
Revenge of the Cowbirds








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™