Yellow wing-patch of a nestling Horsfield's hawk cuckoo Cuculus fugax induces miscognition by hosts: mimicking a gape?
Article first published online: 19 JUL 2005
Journal of Avian Biology
Volume 36, Issue 5, pages 461–464, September 2005
How to Cite
Tanaka, K. D., Morimoto, G. and Ueda, K. (2005), Yellow wing-patch of a nestling Horsfield's hawk cuckoo Cuculus fugax induces miscognition by hosts: mimicking a gape?. Journal of Avian Biology, 36: 461–464. doi: 10.1111/j.2005.0908-8857.03439.x
- Issue published online: 24 AUG 2005
- Article first published online: 19 JUL 2005
- Paper received 9 April 2004; manuscript revised 8 September 2004; manuscript accepted 22 September 2004.
A chick of the Horsfield's hawk cuckoo Cuculus fugax has a vivid yellow skin patch on each wing-bend, which is very similar in colour to its own gape. Almost every time a host parent delivers food, the chick explicitly displays the wing-patch by raising and shaking the wing. We observed that host parents tried to place food onto the wing-patch of the nestling instead of into its mouth. The wing-patch would be perceived as a gape by host parents, possibly resulting in an overestimation of brood size. Signals induced by the wing-patch may vary with the luminosity of environments.