Begging and parental care in relation to offspring need and condition in the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica)

Citation
N. Saino et al., Begging and parental care in relation to offspring need and condition in the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica), AM NATURAL, 156(6), 2000, pp. 637-649
Citations number
63
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Environment/Ecology
Journal title
AMERICAN NATURALIST
ISSN journal
0003-0147 → ACNP
Volume
156
Issue
6
Year of publication
2000
Pages
637 - 649
Database
ISI
SICI code
0003-0147(200012)156:6<637:BAPCIR>2.0.ZU;2-X
Abstract
Parents are selected to maximize their fitness by allocating care among the ir progeny in relation to the differential reproductive value of offspring. Nestlings have been hypothesized to signal need for parental care reliably through their begging behavior, but offspring condition as reflected by th eir reproductive value may likewise affect begging and hence provisioning. We assessed the relative importance of need and condition in determining be gging behavior and feeding rate of nestling barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) through short-term starvation, a challenge to their immune system with a f oreign antigen negatively affecting condition, and brood size manipulation. Food deprivation but not condition or brood size manipulation increased ne stling begging rate. Parents fed offspring depending on both need and condi tion but only when feeding broods that were reduced or of normal size. In e nlarged broods, offspring received less food per capita than in reduced bro ods, and parents did not discriminate among nestlings relative to their nee d or condition. Thus, nestlings signal their need by increased solicitation . Parents allocate food to offspring dependent on both need and condition, with these effects depending on parental workload as determined by experime ntal brood size.