News of the WeekEcology

Birds Weigh Risk Before Protecting Their Young

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Science  20 Apr 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5516, pp. 414-415
DOI: 10.1126/science.292.5516.414a

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New work, reported on page 494, clearly shows that breeding birds factor in both the number of their young and their own likelihood of surviving when deciding whether to risk delivering food to the nest in the presence of a predator. This behavior even varies according to what type of threat a specific predator poses.