Africa’s Avian Cheats: Exploring the deceitful ways of cuckoos, honeyguides and parasitic finches

29 November 2017
  • 19:00
  • £2

    7pm start

 Africa’s Avian Cheats:

Exploring the deceitful ways of cuckoos, honeyguides and parasitic finches

Gabriel Jamie has been researching the parasitic finches of Africa for the past 5 years whilst carrying out a PhD at Cambridge University. In this talk, he will showcase some of the diverse strategies developed by these finches and other species of brood parasite in Africa. He will also highlight the many gaps in our knowledge on this aspect of Africa’s birdlife.

About Speaker - Gabriel Jamie has been researching the parasitic finches of Africa for the past 5 years whilst carrying out a PhD at Cambridge University. In this talk, he will showcase some of the diverse strategies developed by these finches and other species of brood parasite in Africa. He will also highlight the many gaps in our knowledge on this aspect of Africa’s birdlife.
 
Talk Outline - Many people are familiar with the Machiavellian nesting habits of the Common Cuckoo. Rather than building a nest and rearing its own young, the cuckoo instead lays its eggs in the nests of other species and tricks the unwitting foster parent into caring for the cuckoo’s offspring. However, the Common Cuckoo is just one of over a hundred bird species that have evolved this manipulative breeding strategy. Birds that behave like this are called “brood parasites”. 
Africa harbours the greatest diversity of brood parasites on earth. This includes many species of cuckoo, honeyguide and parasitic finch. Whilst all these birds face the common challenge of sneaking their eggs into the nests of another bird unnoticed and getting that bird to feed a foreign nestling, the solutions they have reached are extremely varied.
 
Tickets: £2 on the Door
(Under 18s and FT Students Free)
AGM will take place at Burgh House at 6:30pm