The streaky-breasted flufftail is a highly enigmatic and skulking tiny migratory rail species that lives in the flooded grassy ‘dambos’ of our Zambian study area. In a new article, Gabriel Jamie and our chief field assistants Collins Moya and Lazaro Hamusikili describe for the first time its breeding behaviour in the wild, including startling nest defence against a snake that came to eat its eggs. Download their original article in Bulletin of the African Bird Club here.
In a new paper published in Evolution, Dr Gabriel Jamie along with Silky Hamama, Collins Moya and Prof. Claire Spottiswoode from the African Cuckoos team and collaborators from University of Puerto Rico (Steven Van Belleghem), Princeton University (Dr Cassie Stoddard and Dr Ben Hogan) and University of Cambridge (Professor Rebecca Kilner) provide evidence of host-specific mimicry in the indigobirds and whydahs of Africa. Building on the pioneering work of Robert Payne and Jürgen Nicolai, they provide quantitative evidence that nestling Vidua finches mimic the patterns, colours and begging calls of their host’s nestling, and qualitative evidence of mimicry of host movements.