This month’s Creature Feature is about some curious interactions between parent and baby terns that my undergrad colleague Rachel Moon and I observed on the beach in St. Augustine, FL, about a month ago.
It’s based on the following pieces of research, primarily:
- Saino, N., M. Fasola, and E. Crocicchia. 1994. Adoption behaviour in Little and Common Terns (Aves; Sternidae): chick benefits and parents’ fitness costs. Ethology 97: 294-309.
- Pierotti, R. 1991. Infanticide versus adoption: an intergenerational conflict. The American Naturalist 138: 1140-1158.
- Morris, R.D., M. Woulfe, and G.D. Wichert. 1990. Hatching asynchrony, chick care, and adoption in the Common Tern: can disadvantaged chicks win? Canadian Journal of Zoology 69: 661-668.