Barn Swallow Nest Predation by a Recent Urban Invader, the Taiwan Whistling Thrush

Urban areas have become a new habitat for an increasing number of species.  The interactions among these urban dwellers may be critical to their survival but remain largely unclear.  The barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) has constructed nests on human buildings over centuries.  In contrast, the Taiwan whistling thrush (Myophonus insularis) is one of new urban-invading species.  Here we report the first case of Taiwan whistling thrushes’ predation on urban swallows.  Taiwan whistling thrushes were observed to eat all barn swallows’ chicks and eggs on one street of Taipei, Taiwan within one week and thus dramatically reduced their reproductive success.  The newly evolving predation behavior of Taiwan whistling thrushes could threaten the survival of barn swallows locally.  The results imply that urbanization could intensify the interactions between old and new urban species, leading to their population decline or growth and thus community dynamics of urban wildlife.
Barn swallow nest predation by a recent urban invader, the Taiwan whistling thrush
Read the full article, published by Zoological Studies, here

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