Prof. Piotr Tryjanowski visited us

The 47th conference of the Czech and Slovak Ethological Society

The 47th conference of the Czech and Slovak Ethological Society (the 30th and 31st of October) was held by on-line version. Again we managed to attract both the expert committee and the audience. Lucka Hornátová won the first prize in the Audience award with her oral presentation “Individual variability of a long-eared owl (Asio otus) vocalization” and Káťa Antonová won the first prize in the Expert committee award and the Audience award with her poster “Holistic perception of predators in birds on the example of a great tit (Parus major) and a Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus), preliminary results”. Congratulations to both of you!

CKE was attended by:

Abstract book.

Success of our PhD students at the 46th conference of the Czech and Slovak Ethological Society

Tereza Hromádková won two first places (Expert committee award, Audience award) with the oral presentation “How Arctic Terns adjust their migration behaviour according to environmental factors?”

Michaela Syrová won the third place (Expert committee award) with the oral presentation “Bojovat nebo schovat se? Aneb jak ťuhýk brání hnízdo před strakou?”


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Facing a Clever Predator Demands Clever Responses - Red-Backed Shrikes (Lanius collurio) vs. Eurasian Magpies (Pica pica)


Michaela Syrová, Michal Němec, Petr Veselý, Eva Landová, Roman Fuchs

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0159432

Abstract: Red-backed shrikes (Lanius collurio) behave quite differently towards two common nest predators. While the European jay (Garrulus glandarius) is commonly attacked, in the presence of the Eurasian magpie (Pica pica), shrikes stay fully passive. We tested the hypotheses that this passive response to the magpie is an alternative defense strategy. Nesting shrikes were exposed to the commonly attacked European kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) in a situation in which i) a harmless domestic pigeon, ii) a commonly attacked European jay, and iii) a non-attacked black-billed magpie are (separately) presented nearby. The kestrel dummy presented together with the magpie dummy was attacked with a significantly lower intensity than when it was presented with the other intruders (pigeon, jay) or alone. This means that the presence of the magpie inhibited the shrike’s defense response towards the other intruder. These results support our previous hypotheses that shrikes use an alternative defense strategy in the magpie’s presence. We hypothesize that the magpie is able to associate the active defense of the shrikes with the close proximity of a nest and that shrikes try not to draw the magpie’s attention to the nest. The reason why this strategy is not used against the jay remains unanswered as jays as well as magpies show very similar cognitive and foraging skills enabling them to individuate the nest presence according to active parental defense.

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