Stressed seabird parents think only of themselves

To see how bird family members interact with each other in stressful situations, researchers from Vetmeduni Vienna and the University of Gdansk, Poland, studied parent-offspring interactions in a long-lived seabird, the little auk (Alle alle). They increased their “stress levels”, with the result that stressed offspring intensified their begging and received more food than “relaxed” chicks. When parent birds were stressed, they however reduced offspring feeding searching for food for themselves, even though little auks usually raise only a single chick. The results have been published in the Journal of Ornithology. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)