Some hosts accept brood parasitic eggs and offspring. But do they know it's a parasite, and accept for other reasons? I study recognition of these parasites experimentally through hormones and behavior of the host.
What kinds of information can birds gather from each other's nesting attempts, and how do they use it? I am investigating these questions using RFID technology and a population of PIT-tagged prothonotary warblers.
How do parasites affect the hosts they are raised with? Do the hosts incur costs specific to the parasite? Looking into this, I am experimentally manipulating nests and collecting data from hatching to fledging.