Bird Families

Song of the White-lumbar Thrush Copsychus Malabaricus


viewShama-thrush blackCopsychus nigerSharpe1877
genusShama-thrush (Slavka magpie)CopsychusWagler1827
suborder / suborderSingersOscines
detachment / orderPasserinesPasseriformes
superorder / superorderNew Sky Birds (Typical Birds)NeognathaePycroft1900
infraclassReal birds (Fan-tailed birds)NeornithesGadow1893
subclassCilegrud Birds (Fan-tailed Birds)Carinatae Ornithurae (Neornithes) Ornithurae (Neornithes)Merrem1813
subtype / subdivisionVertebrates (Cranial)Vertebrata (Craniata)Cuvier1800
type / departmentChordatesChordata
supertypeCoelomic animalsCoelomata
sectionBilaterally symmetrical (Three-layer)Bilateria (Triploblastica)
subkingdomMulticellular animalsMetazoa

Interspecific bird conflicts are explained by competition and hybridization

Many animals jealously guard their territory from the invasion of strangers. This is logical when it comes to a representative of its own species. However, an individual belonging to a different species often becomes the object of attack. For a long time, it was believed that such interspecific territoriality was just a by-product of intraspecific territoriality. In other words, the owner attacks the stranger by mistake, mistaking him for a relative.

However, new evidence suggests that protecting an area from other species is adaptive. It can arise and persist when different species compete for a particular resource, such as food or shelter.

A team of zoologists led by Jonathan P. Drury of the University of Durham conducted a massive study of interspecies competition for territory using the example of North American passerines. After analyzing the literature, scientists found that this behavior is typical for 104 of their species. This is 32.3 percent of the total number of passerine species in North America. Thus, interspecies competition is more widespread than previously thought.

According to the authors, in most cases, birds come into conflict over territory with a representative of one specific species. There are several factors that increase the chances of forming a pair of competing species. For example, birds that live in the same biotope, have similar sizes and nest in hollows are more likely to be involved in conflicts over territory. For species belonging to the same family, another factor plays an important role - the probability of hybridization. If two species are capable of interbreeding, their males are more likely to react aggressively to each other.

Based on the data obtained, the researchers concluded that interspecific conflicts for territory among birds do not arise at all by mistake. This behavior is an adaptive response to competition for a limited resource, as well as a mechanism to prevent hybridization between closely related species.

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