Great Reed Warblers bury artificial objects, not only Cuckoo eggs

I. Bártol, C. Moskát, Z. Karcza, T. Kisbenedek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


The Great Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) is a frequently used host of the Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) in Hungary, locally parasitism rate may exceed 50%. Earlier studies revealed that Great Reed Warblers buried approx. 2-3% of the Cuckoo eggs, when clutches were parasitised naturally. In the pre-incubation stage we placed non-egg shaped foreign objects, pieces of reed stems as light elongated objects, and two types of small coins, like heavy rounded objects into Great Reed Warbler nests in central Hungary. Birds easily ejected reed stems from nest (88%), but the coins were more frequently buried. Approx. 53% of the small coins and 19% of the big coins were buried. Our results showed that Great Reed Warblers were able to bury foreign objects, so burial might have a general cleaning role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-114
Number of pages4
JournalActa Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2003



  • Acrocephalus arundinaceus
  • Antiparasite defence
  • Brood parasitism
  • Cuculus canorus
  • Egg burial
  • Nest cleaning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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