Prof. Claire Spottiswoode



  • McClelland, S.C., Attard, M.R.G., Bowen, J, Horrocks, N.P.C., Jamie, G.A., Dixit, T., Spottiswoode, C.N., Portugal, S.J., 2023. Eggshell composition and surface properties of avian brood-parasitic species compared with non-parasitic species. R. Soc. Open Sci. 10: 221023.
  • Dixit, T., Choi, G.P.T., al-Mosleh, S., Lund, J., Troscianko, J., Moya, C., Mahadevan, L. and Spottiswoode, C.N., 2023. Combined measures of mimetic fidelity explain imperfect mimicry in a brood parasite–host system. Biology Letters19(2), 20220538.
  • Attwood, M. C., Lund, J., Nwaogu, C. J., Moya, C., & Spottiswoode, C. N. (2023). Aggressive hosts are undeterred by a cuckoo’s hawk mimicry, but probably make good foster parents. Proceedings of the Royal Society B290(1990), 20221506.
  • Dixit, T., Apostol, A., Chen, K. C., Fulford, A., Town, C. P., & Spottiswoode, C. N. (2022) Visual complexity of egg patterns predicts egg rejection according to Weber’s Law. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 289. 20220710. 
  • Cram, D.L., van der Wal, J.E.M., Uomini, N.T., Cantor, M., Afan, A.I., Attwood, M.C., Amphaeris, J., Balasani, F., Blair, C.J., Bronstein, J.L., Buanachique, I.O., Cuthill, R.R.T., Das, J., Daura-Jorge, F.G., Deb, A., Dixit, T., Dlamini, G.S., Dounias, E., Gedi, I.I., Gruber, M., Hoffman, L.S., Holzlehner, T., Isack, H.A., Laltaika, A.E., Lloyd-Jones, D.J., Lund, J., Machado, A.M.S., Mahadevan, L., Moreno, I.B., Nwaogu, C.J., Pereira, V.L., Pierotti, R., Rucunua, S.A., dos Santos, W.F., Serpa, N., Smith, B.D., Sridhar, H., Tolkova, I., Tun, T., Valle-Pereira, J.V.S., Wood, B.M., Wrangham, R.W. & Spottiswoode, C.N. (2022) The ecology and evolution of human-wildlife cooperationPeople and Nature DOI: 10.1002/pan3.10369
  • van der Wal, J.E.M., Spottiswoode, C.N., Uomini, N.T., Cantor, M., Daura-Jorge, F.G., Afan, A.I., Attwood, M.C., Amphaeris, J., Balasani, F., Begg, C.M., Blair, C.J., Bronstein, J.L., Buanachique, I.O., Cuthill, R.R.T., Das, J., Deb, A., Dixit, T., Dlamini, G.S., Dounias, E., Gedi, I.I., Gruber, M., Hoffman, L.S., Holzlehner, T., Isack, H.A., Laltaika, A.E., Lloyd-Jones, D.J., Lund, J., Machado, A.M.S., Mahadevan, L., Moreno, I.B., Nwaogu, C.J., Pereira, V.L., Pierotti, R., Rucunua, S.A., dos Santos, W.F., Serpa, N., Smith, B.D., Tolkova, I., Tun, T., Valle-Pereira, J.V.S., Wood, B.M., Wrangham, R.W. & Cram, D.L. 2022 Safeguarding human-wildlife cooperationConservation Letters e12886
  • van der Wal, J.E.M., Spottiswoode, C.N. & Sugasawa, S. 2022 Correspondence: Opportunities and risks of publishing academic talks online. Nature Ecology & Evolution DOI: 10.1038/s41559-022-01755-6
  • Spottiswoode, C.N., Tong, W., Jamie, G.A., Stryjewski, K.F., DaCosta, J., Kuras, E., Green, A., Hamama, S., Taylor, I.G., Moya, C. & Sorenson, M.D. (2022) Genetic architecture facilitates then constrains adaptation in a host-parasite coevolutionary arms raceProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 119: e2121752119.
  • McClelland, S.C., Reynolds, M., Cordall, M., Hauber, M.E., Goymann, W., McClean, L.A., Hamama, S., Lund, J., Dixit, T., Louder, M.I.M., Safari, I., Honza, M., Spottiswoode, C.N. & Portugal, S.J. (2021) Embryo movement is more frequent in avian brood parasites than birds with parental reproductive strategies. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 288: 20211137.
  • Dixit, T., Caves, E.M., Spottiswoode, C.N. & Horrocks, N.P.C. (2021) Why and how to apply Weber’s Law to coevolution and mimicry. Evolution 75: 1906-1919.
  • Caves, E.M., Dixit, T., Colebrook-Robjent, J.F.R., Hamusikili, L., Stevens, M., Thorogood, R. & Spottiswoode, C.N. (2021) Hosts elevate either within-clutch consistency or between-clutch distinctiveness of egg phenotypes in defence against brood parasites. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 288: 20210326.
  • Coetzee, A., Seymour, C.L. & Spottiswoode, C.N. (2021) Facilitation and competition shape a geographical mosaic of flower colour polymorphisms. Functional Ecology doi:0.1111/1365-2435.13851.
  • du Plessis, M., Seymour, C.L., Spottiswoode, C.N. & Coetzee, A. (2021) Artificial nectar feeders reduce sunbird abundance and plant visitation in Cape Fynbos adjacent to suburban areas. Global Ecology and Conservation 28: e01706.
  • Bourne, A.R., Ridley, A.R., Spottiswoode, C.N. & Cunningham, S.J. (2021) Direct and indirect effects of high temperatures on fledging in a cooperatively breeding bird. Behavioral Ecology 32: 1212–1223.
  • Bourne, A.R., Ridley, A.R., McKechnie, A.E., Spottiswoode, C.N. & Cunningham, S.J. (2021) Dehydration risk is associated with reduced nest attendance and hatching success in a cooperatively breeding bird, the southern pied babbler Turdoides bicolor. Conservation Physiology 9: coab043 Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Jamie, G.A., Hamama, S., Moya, C., Kilner, R.M. & Spottiswoode, C.N. (2021) The limits of host colonisation and speciation in a radiation of parasitic finches. Behavioral Ecology 32: 529-538.

  • Jamie, G.A., Van Belleghem, S., Hogan, B., Hamama, S., Moya, C., Troscianko, J., Stoddard, M.C., Kilner, R.M. & Spottiswoode, C.N. (2020) Multimodal mimicry of hosts in a radiation of parasitic finches. Evolution 74: 2526-2538 Read a Digest piece on this research by Bosque et al.

  • Coetzee, A., Spottiswoode, C.N. & Seymour, C.L. 2020 Post-pollination barriers enable coexistence of pollinator-sharing ornithophilous Erica species. Journal of Plant Research 133: 873-881. [Read full text]

  • Bourne, A.R., Cunningham, S.J., Spottiswoode, C.N. & Ridley, A.R. 2020 Hot droughts compromise interannual survival across all group sizes in a cooperatively breeding bird. Ecology Letters doi: 10.1111/ele.13604 Read on journal website

  • Bourne, A.R., Cunningham, S.J., Spottiswoode, C.N. & Ridley, A.R. 2020 High temperatures drive offspring mortality in a cooperatively breeding bird. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B doi:10.1098/rspb.2020.1140 Read on journal website
  • Bourne, A.R., Cunningham, S.J., Spottiswoode, C.N. & Ridley, A.R. 2020 Compensatory breeding in years following drought in a desert-dwelling cooperative breeder. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 8: 190. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Sorensen, M.C., Dixit, T., Newton, J., Kardynal, K., Hobson, K., Bensch, S., Jenni-Eiereman, S. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 2019 Migration distance does not predict blood parasitism in a Palearctic-African migratory bird. Ecology and Evolution 9: 8294-8304. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Jansen, D., Pradel, R., Mares, R., Doutrelant, C., Spottiswoode, C.N., Covas, R. & Altwegg, R. 2019 An integrated population model sheds light on the complex population dynamics of a unique colonial breeder. Population Ecology 61: 406-420.
  • Gush, W.G., Maphisa, D.H., Reynolds, C., Donald, P.F. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 2019 Declines of the globally threatened Rudd’s Lark Heteromirafra ruddi in one of its last remaining strongholds. Bird Conservation International DOI: 10.1017/S095927091900011X Read on journal website
  • Thorogood, R., Spottiswoode, C.N., Portugal, S.J. & Gloag, R. 2019 The coevolutionary biology of brood parasitism: a call for integration. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 374: 20180190. 71. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • McClelland, S.C., Jamie, G.A., Waters, K., Caldas, L., Spottiswoode, C.N. & Portugal, S.J. 2019 Convergent evolution of reduced eggshell conductance in avian brood parasites. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 374: 20180194. 70. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Spottiswoode, C.N.* & Busch, R.* 2019 Vive la difference! Self/non-self recognition and the evolution of signature polymorphism in arms races with parasites. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 374: 20180206. (* equal contributions) Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Stoddard, M.C., Hogan, B., Stevens, M. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 2019 Higher-level pattern features provide additional information to birds when recognizing and rejecting parasitic eggs. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 374: 20180197. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Krochuk, B.A., Bolopo, D., Lowney, A.M., Meyers, P.R., Spottiswoode, C.N., Raman, R.M.G. & Thomson, R.L. 2018 Why defaecate on your doorstep? Investigating an unusual behaviour in Africa’s smallest falcon. Ostrich 89: 307-314.
  • Mares, R., Doutrelant. C., Paquet, M., Spottiswoode C.N. & Covas, R. 2017 Breeding decisions and output are correlated with both temperature and rainfall in an arid-region passerine, the sociable weaver. Royal Society Open Science 4: 170835. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Stevens, M., Troscianko, J., Wilson-Aggarwal, J.K. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 2017 Improvement of individual camouflage through background choice in ground-nesting birds. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1: 1325-1333. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Spottiswoode, C.N. 2017 Perspectives: The most perfect thing, explained. Science 356: 1234-1235. Download free PDF from journal website
  • Caves, E.M., Stevens, M. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 2017 Does coevolution with a shared parasite drive hosts to partition their defences among species? Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 284: 20170272 Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Troscianko, J. Wilson-Aggarwal, J., Griffiths, D., Spottiswoode, C.N. & Stevens, M. 2017 Relative advantages of dichromatic and trichromatic color vision in camouflage breaking. Behavioral Ecology 28: 556-564. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Troscianko, J., Wilson-Aggarwal, J., Spottiswoode, C.N. & Stevens, M. 2016 Nest covering in plovers: how modifying the visual environment influences egg camouflage. Ecology and Evolution doi: 10.1002/ece3.2494 Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Sorensen, M.C., Fairhurst, G.D., Jenni-Eiermann, D., Newton, J., Yohannes, E. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 2016 Seasonal rainfall at long-term migratory staging sites is associated with altered carry-over effects in a Palearctic-African migratory bird. BMC Ecology 16: 41. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Spottiswoode, C.N., Begg, K.S. & Begg, C.M. 2016 Reciprocal signaling in honeyguide-human mutualism. Science 353: 387-389. Download free PDF from journal website
  • Péron, G., Altwegg, R., Jamie, G.A. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 2016 Coupled range dynamics of brood parasites and their hosts responding to climate and vegetation changes. Journal of Animal Ecology 85: 1191–1199. Read on journal website
  • Wilson-Aggarwal, J., Troscianko, J., Stevens, M. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 2016 Escape distance in ground-nesting birds differs with level of individual camouflage. American Naturalist 188: 231–239. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Troscianko, J., Wilson-Aggarwal, J., Stevens, M. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 2016 Camouflage directly predicts the survival probability of ground-nesting birds. Scientific Reports 6: 19966. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Sorensen, M.C., Jenni-Eiermann, S. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 2016 Why do migratory birds sing on their tropical wintering grounds? American Naturalist 187: E65-E76. Read on journal website
  • Sorensen, M.C., Asghar, M., Bensch, S., Fairhurst, G.D., Jenni-Eiermann, S. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 2016 A rare study from the wintering grounds provides insight into the costs of malaria infection for migratory birds. Journal of Avian Biology 57: 575–582. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Spottiswoode, C.N., Fishpool, L.D.C. & Bayliss, J.L. 2016 Birds and biogeography of Mt Mecula, in Mozambique’s Niassa National Reserve. OstrichOstrich 87: 281–284 Download PDF
  • Acker, P., Grégoire, A., Rat, M., Spottiswoode, C.N., van Dijk, R.E., Paquet, M., Kaden, J.C., Pradel, R., Hatchwell, B.J., Covas, C. & Doutrelant, C. 2015 Disruptive viability selection on a black plumage trait associated with dominance. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 28: 2027–2041. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • van Dijk, R.E., Covas, R., Doutrelant, C., Spottiswoode, C.N. & Hatchwell, B.J. 2015 Fine‐scale genetic structure reflects sex‐specific dispersal strategies in a population of sociable weavers (Philetairus socius). Molecular Ecology24: 4296–4311Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Caves, E.M., Stevens, M., Iversen, E. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 2015 Hosts of brood parasites have evolved egg signatures with elevated information content. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 282: 20150598. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Feeney, W.E., Troscianko, J., Langmore, N.E. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 2015 Evidence for aggressive mimicry in an adult brood parasitic bird, and generalised defences in its host. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 282: 2015079. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Paquet, M., Doutrelant, C., Hatchwell, B.J., Spottiswoode, C.N. & Covas, R. 2015 Antagonistic effect of helpers on breeding male and female survival in a cooperatively breeding bird. Journal of Animal Ecology 84: 1354–1362. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Mills, M.S.L., Cohen, C., Francis, J.E. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 2015 A survey for the Critically Endangered Liben Lark Heteromirafra archeri in Somaliland, north-western Somalia. Ostrich 86: 291–294.
  • Tong, W., Horrocks, N.P.C. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 2015 The sight of an adult brood parasite near the nest is an insufficient cue for a honeyguide host to reject foreign eggs. Ibis 157: 626-630. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Bayliss, J., Timberlake, J., Alves, T., Branch, B., Bruessow, C., Collins, S., Congdon, C., de Sousa, C., Dowsett, R., Dowsett-Lemaire, F., Fishpool, L., Harris, T., Giogiardis, S., Liggitt, B., Monadjem, A., Patel, H., Ribeiro, D., Spottiswoode, C.N., Taylor, P., Wilcocks, S., Ribeiro, D., and Smith, P. 2014 The discovery, biodiversity, and conservation of Mabu forest – the largest mid-altitude rainforest in southern Africa. Oryx 48: 177-185.Download PDF
  • Altwegg, R., Doutrelant, C., Anderson, M.D., Spottiswoode, C.N. & Covas, R. 2014 Climate, social factors and research disturbance influence population dynamics in declining sociable weaver metapopulation. Oecologia174: 413–425. Download PDF
  • Spottiswoode, C.N. 2013 Perspectives: How cooperation defeats cheats. Science 342: 1452-1453. Read on journal website
  • Stevens, M., Troscianko, J. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 2013 Repeated targeting of the same hosts by a brood parasite compromises host egg rejection. Nature Communications 4: 2475. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Spottiswoode, C.N. 2013 A brood parasite selects for its own egg traits. Biology Letters 9: 20130573. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Spottiswoode, C.N., Olsson, U., Mills, M.S.L., Cohen, C., Francis, J.E., Dagne, A., Toye, N., Hoddinott, D., Wood, C., Donald, P.F., Collar, N.J. & Alström, P. 2013 Rediscovery of a long-lost lark reveals the conspecificity of endangered Heteromirafra populations in the Horn of Africa. Journal of Ornithology 154: 813-825. Download PDF
  • Corfield, J.R., Birkhead, T.R., Spottiswoode, C.N., Iwaniuk, A.N., Boogert, N.J., Gutiérrez-Ibáñez, C., Overington, S.E., Wylie, D.R. & Lefebvre, L. 2013 Brain size and morphology of the brood-parasitic and cerophagous honeyguides (Aves: Piciformes). Brain, Behaviour and Evolution 81: 170-186. Download PDF
  • van Dijk, R.E., Eising, C.M., Merrill, R.M., Karadas, F., Hatchwell B.J.& Spottiswoode, C.N. 2012 Maternal effects in the highly communal sociable weaver may exacerbate brood reduction and prepare offspring for a competitive social environment. Oecologia 171: 379-389. Download PDF
  • Donald, P.F., Gedeon, K., Collar, N.J., Spottiswoode, C.N., Wondafrash, M. & Buchanan, G.M. 2012 The restricted range of the Ethiopian Bush-crow Zavattariornis stresemanni is a consequence of high reliance on modified habitats within narrow climatic limits. Journal of Ornithology 153: 1031-1044. Download PDF
  • Spottiswoode, C.N. & Stevens, M. 2012 Host-parasite arms races and rapid changes in bird egg appearance. American Naturalist 179: 633-648. Download PDF
  • Spottiswoode, C.N., Stryjewski, K.F., Quader, S., Colebrook-Robjent, J.F.R. & Sorenson, M.D. 2011 Ancient host-specificity within a single species of brood parasitic bird. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 108, 17738-17742. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Spottiswoode, C.N. & Koorevaar, J. 2012 A stab in the dark: chick killing by brood parasitic honeyguides. Biology Letters 8: 241-244. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Spottiswoode, C.N. & Stevens, M. 2011 How to evade a coevolving brood parasite: egg discrimination versus egg variability as host defences. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 278: 3566-3573. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Birkhead, T.R., Hemmings, N., Spottiswoode, C.N., Mikulica, O, Moskát, C., Bán, M. & Schulze-Hagen, K. 2011 Internal incubation and early hatching in brood parasitic birds. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 278:1019-1024. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Covas, R., Deville, A.-S., Doutrelant, C, Spottiswoode, C.N. & Grégoire, A. 2011 The effect of helpers on post-fledging survival in a cooperatively breeding bird, the sociable weaver. Animal Behaviour 81:121-126. Download PDF
  • Tobias, J.A., Seddon, N., Spottiswoode, C.N., Pilgrim, J.D., Fishpool, L.D.C. & Collar, N.J. 2010 Quantitative criteria for species delimitation. Ibis152: 724-746. Read on journal website [Open Access]
    (See also commentaries in Ibis and Nature)
  • Spottiswoode, C.N. & Stevens, M. 2010 Visual modeling shows that avian host parents use multiple visual cues in rejecting parasitic eggs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 107: 8672-8676. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Spottiswoode, C.N. 2010 The evolution of host-specific variation in cuckoo eggshell strength. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 23: 1792-1799. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Donald, P.D., Buchanan, G.M, Collar, N.J., Dellelegn Abebe, Y., Gabremichael, M.N., Mwangi, M.A.K., Ndang’ang’a, P.K., Spottiswoode C.N. & Wondafrash, M. 2010 Rapid declines in habitat quality and population size in the Sidamo (Liben) Lark Heteromirafra sidamoensisnecessitate immediate conservation action. Bird Conservation International20: 1-12. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Biard, C., Gil, D., Karadas, F., Saino, N., Spottiswoode, C.N., Surai, P.F. & Møller, A.P. 2009 Maternal effects mediated by antioxidants and the evolution of carotenoid-based signals in birds. American Naturalist 174: 696-708. Download PDF
  • Spottiswoode, C.N., Wondafrash, M, Gabremichael, M.N., Dellelegn, Y., Mwangi, M.K., Collar, N.J., Dolman, P.M. 2009 Rangeland degradation is poised to cause Africa’s first recorded avian extinction. Animal Conservation12: 249-257. Download PDF
    (See also news articles: BBC news website, New Scientist)
  • Spottiswoode, C.N. 2009 Fine-scale life-history variation in Sociable Weavers in relation to colony size. Journal of Animal Ecology 78: 504-512.Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Collar, N.J., Dingle, C. Gabremichael, M.N. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 2009 Taxonomic status of the Degodi Lark Mirafra degodiensis, with notes on the voice of Gillett’s Lark M. gilletti. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 129: 49-62. Download PDF
  • Mellanby, R. J., Ross, B., Watt, A., Wondafrash, M., Ewnetu, M., Broadhurst, C., Critchlow, R., Dadesa, A., Deas, T., Enawgaw, C., Gebremedin, B., Graham, E., Maclean, S., Mckean, M., Collar, N. J. &Spottiswoode, C.N. 2008 Distribution, abundance and habitat preferences of White-tailed Swallow Hirundo megaensis and Ethiopian Bush-crow Zavattariornis stresemanni, two southern Ethiopian endemics. Bird Conservation International 18: 395-412. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Spottiswoode, C.N., Patel, I. H., Herrmann, E., Timberlake, J. & Bayliss, J. 2008 Threatened bird species on two little-known mountains (Mabu and Chiperone) in northern Mozambique. Ostrich 79: 1-7. Download PDF
  • Spottiswoode, C.N. 2008 Cooperative breeding and immunity: a comparative study of PHA response in African birds. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 62: 963-974. Download PDF
    (See also news article: The Economist)
  • Møller, A.P., Garamszegi, L.Z. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 2008 Genetic similarity, distribution range and sexual selection. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 21: 213-225. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Spottiswoode, C.N. 2007 Phenotypic sorting in morphology and reproductive investment among Sociable Weaver colonies. Oecologia 154: 589-600. Download PDF
  • Spottiswoode, C.N. & Colebrook-Robjent, J.F.R. 2007 Egg puncturing by the brood parasitic Greater Honeyguide and potential host counteradaptations. Behavioral Ecology 18: 792-799. Download PDF
  • Gil, D., Biard, C., Lacroix, A., Spottiswoode, C.N., Saino, N., Puerta, M. & Møller, A.P. 2007 Evolution of yolk androgens in birds: development, coloniality and sexual dichromatism. American Naturalist 169: 802-819. Download PDF
  • Saino, N., Martinelli, R., Biard, C., Gil, D., Spottiswoode, C.N., Rubolini, D., Surai, P. & Møller, A. P. 2007 Maternal immune factors and the evolution of secondary sexual characters. Behavioral Ecology 18: 513-520. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Spottiswoode, C.N., Tøttrup, A.P. & Coppack, T. 2006 Sexual selection predicts advancement of avian spring migration in response to climate change. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 273: 3023-3029. Read on journal website [Open Access] 
    (See also news articles: Science Online News, Conservation magazine)
  •  Jamieson, B. G. M, Hodgson, A. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 2006 Ultrastructure of the spermatozoon of Myrmecocichla formicivora (Vieillot, 1881) and Philetairus socius (Latham, 1790) (Aves; Passeriformes), with a new interpretation of the passeridan acrosome. Acta Zoologica 87: 297-304. Download PDF
  • Coppack, T., Tøttrup, A.P. & Spottiswoode, C. 2006 Degree of protandry reflects level of extrapair paternity in migratory songbirds. Journal of Ornithology 147: 260-265. Download PDF
  • Ryan, P.G., Sinclair, I., Cohen, C., Mills, M.S.L., Spottiswoode, C., & Cassidy, R. 2004 The conservation status and vocalisations of threatened birds from the scarp forest of the Western Angola Endemic Bird Area. Bird Conservation International 14: 247-260. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Spottiswoode, C., Herrmann, E., Rasa, O.A.E. & Sapsford, C.W. 2004 Cooperative breeding in the Pygmy Falcon Polihierax semitorquatus. Ostrich 75: 322-324. Download PDF
  • Spottiswoode, C. & Møller, A.P. 2004 Extra-pair paternity, migration and breeding synchrony in birds. Behavioral Ecology 15: 41-57. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  •  Spottiswoode, C. & Møller, A.P. 2004 Genetic similarity and hatching success in birds. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 271: 267-272. Download PDF
  • Jackson, H.D. & Spottiswoode, C. 2004 Breeding biology and taxonomy of the Red-breasted Swallow Hirundo semirufa in Zimbabwe. Ostrich 75: 5-10.
  • Ryan, P.G. & Spottiswoode, C. 2003 The conservation status of Long-billed Tailorbird Orthotomus moreaui and other birds on Serra Jeci, northern Mozambique. Ostrich 74: 141-145. Download PDF
  • Hõrak, P., Ots, I., Vellau, H., Spottiswoode, C. & Møller, A.P. 2001 Carotenoid-based plumage coloration reflects hemoparasite infection and local survival in breeding great tits. Oecologia 126: 166-173. Download PDF 
  • Ryan, P.G., Bento, C., Cohen, C., Graham, J., Parker, V. & Spottiswoode, C. 1999 The avifauna and conservation status of the Namuli Massif, northern Mozambique. Bird Conservation International 9: 315-331. Download PDF
  • Underhill, L.G., Underhill, G.D. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 1999 Primary moult and body-mass of the Cape Turtle Dove Streptopelia capicola, and its abundance relative to the Laughing Dove S. senegalensis, in the Western Cape. Ostrich 70: 196-199.

Book chapters

  • Spottiswoode, C.N., Kilner, R.M. & Davies, N.B. 2012 Brood Parasitism. in: Royle, N.J., Smiseth, P.T. & Kölliker, M. (Eds) The Evolution of Parental Care. Oxford University Press.
  • Langmore, N.E. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 2012 Host manipulation through visual trickery in avian brood parasites. in: Hughes, D.P., Brodeur, J. & Thomas, F. (Eds) Host Manipulation By Parasites. Oxford University Press.
  • Spottiswoode, C.N. & Saino, N. 2010 Sexual selection and climate change. In: Møller, A.P., Fiedler, W. & Berthold, P. (Eds) Effects of Climate Change on Birds. Oxford University Press.
  • Twenty-two species accounts in: Hockey, P.A.R., Dean, W.R.J. & Ryan, P.G. (Eds) 2005 Roberts’ Birds of Southern Africa. VIIth ed. Cape Town: The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund.
  • Two species accounts in: Young, D.J., Harrison, J.A., Navarro, R.A., Anderson, M.D. & Colahan, M.D. (Eds) 2003 Big Birds on Farms: Mazda CAR Report 1993-2001. Cape Town: Avian Demography Unit. [2 species accounts written]
  • Twenty-nine species accounts in: Harrison, J.A., Allan, D.G., Underhill, L.G., Herremans, M., Tree, A.J., Parker, V. & Brown, C.J. (Eds) 1997 The Atlas of Southern African Birds. Johannesburg: BirdLife South Africa.
  • A site account in: Peterson, W. & Tripp, M. (Eds) 1995 Birds of the South-Western Cape and Where to Watch Them. Cape Town: Cape Bird Club.


  • Spottiswoode, C., Gabremichael, M.N. & Francis, J. 2010 Where to Watch Birds in Ethiopia. A & C Black, London.
  • Cohen, C., Spottiswoode, C. & Rossouw, J. 2006 Southern African Birdfinder: Where to find 1400 bird species in southern Africa and Madagascar. Struik Publishers, Cape Town.
  • Cohen, C. & Spottiswoode, C. 2000 Essential Birding in Western South Africa: Key routes from Cape Town to the Kalahari. Cape Town: Struik New Holland Publishers.

Other articles

  • van der Wal, J.E.M. & Spottiswoode C.N. 2020 Wanted: Greater Honeyguide sightings. African Birdlife 9(5):16.
  • Jamie, G.A., McClean, L., Moya, C. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 2019 The chick of the Locust Finch Paludipasser locustella. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 26: 198-201.
  • Spottiswoode, C.N. 2017 One good turn: exploring human-honeyguide mutualism. African Birdlife 2017(2): 22-28.
  • Bladon, A.J., Jones, S.E.I., Collar, N.J., Dellelegn, Y., Donald, P.F., Gedeon, K., Green, R.E., Spottiswoode, C.N., Töpfer, T., Wondafrash, M. 2016 Further notes on the natural history of the Ethiopian Bush-crow Zavattariornis stresemanni. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 23: 27–45. Download PDF
  • Spottiswoode, C.N. 2014 Review: Ten Thousand Birds: Ornithology since Darwin. Times Higher Education (10 April 2014) 147: 51. Download PDF
  • Spottiswoode, C.N. 2010 Finding southern Ethiopia’s endemic birds. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 17: 106-113. Download PDF
  • Gabremichael, M.N., Spottiswoode, C.N., Fishpool. L., Forsyth, E., Lewis, A. Pain, D., Thomas, R. & Toye, N. 2009 Occurrence of the White-tailed Swallow Hirundo megaensis near Negele, Ethiopia. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 16: 83-86. Download PDF
  • Collar, N.J., Dellelegn, Y., Fishpool, L.D.C., Gabremichael, M.N.,Spottiswoode, C.N. & Wondafrash, M. 2008 Type locality, behaviour, voice, nest, eggs and plight of the Sidamo Lark Heteromirafra sidamoensis. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 15: 180-190. Download PDF
  • Collar, N.J. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 2005 Species limits in birds: A response to Watson. Bioscience 55: 388-389. Download PDF
  • Spottiswoode, C., Leonard, P. & Mills, M. 2005 Little-known African Bird: Chaplin’s Barbet Lybius chaplini, Zambia’s fig-loving endemic. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 12: 50-52. Download PDF
  • Spottiswoode, C. 2005 Opening up [New Worlds: Angola]. World of Birds 2005 (BirdWatch Suppl.) 26-27.
  • Anderson, M.D., Anderson, T.A. & Spottiswoode, C. 2004 Murmuring white giants of the Kalahari. Africa Geographic 12 (8).
  • Spottiswoode, C. & Lambert, F. 2004 First record of Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis in western South Africa. Bird Numbers 13(2): 30.
  • Sinclair, I., Spottiswoode, C., Cohen, C., Mills, M., Cassidy, R., vaz Pinto, P. & Ryan, P. 2004 Birding western Angola. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 11: 152-160.
  • Mills, M., Cohen, C. & Spottiswoode, C. 2004 Little-known African Bird: Gabela Akalat, Angola’s long-neglected Gabelatrix. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 11: 149-151.
  • Cohen, C., Mills, M., Ryan, P.G., Sinclair, I., Vaz Pinto, P. & Spottiswoode, C. 2004 Angola’s neglected mountain endemics. World BirdWatch 26: 5.
  • Cohen, C., Mills, M. & Spottiswoode, C. 2004 Angola’s mountain endemics emerge. Africa: Birds & Birding 9(2): 16-17.
  • Spottiswoode, C. 2004 Sociable-ising in Namibia. Lanioturdus 37(2): 25-26.
  • Spottiswoode, C. & Cohen, C. 2003 Top 50 birds of the world: Congo Peafowl Afropavo congolensis. Birdwatch Suppl. 9.
  • Spottiswoode, C. 2002 Review: Guide sonore des Oiseaux nicheurs des Comores. Africa: Birds & Birding 7(4): 11.
  • Spottiswoode, C. & Ryan, P.G. 2002 First record of Mascarene Martin Phedina borbonica in Sul do Save, Mozambique. Bird Numbers 11: 23.
  • Spottiswoode, C. & Cohen, C. 2002 Birding the Tanqua Karoo: the long unwinding road. Africa: Birds & Birding 7(1): 52-59.
  • Spottiswoode, C. 2002 Portfolio: Beyond Marrakech. Africa Geographic 10(1): 50-57.
  • Ryan, P.G. & Spottiswoode, C. 2001 Tailorbirds rediscovered in northern Mozambique. Africa: Birds & Birding 6(5): 18-19.
  • Spottiswoode, C., Cohen, C. & Hester, A. 2001 First breeding records of the South African Cliff Swallow in Botswana. Babbler 39: 52-52.
  • Cohen, C., Spottiswoode, C. & Rose, B. 2001 Pelagic seabirding off Cape Town, South Africa. African Bird Club Bulletin 8: 12-17. Click here for online version
  • Spottiswoode, C. & Mills, M. 2000 Records from Gambela, western Ethiopia. African Bird Club Bulletin 7: 97-100.Click here for online version
  • Mills, M. & Spottiswoode, C. 2000 Photospot: Star-spotted Nightjar. African Bird Club Bulletin 7: 141-143.
  • Ryan, P., Spottiswoode, C., Parker, V., Graham, J., Cohen, C. & Bento, C. 1999 The birds of Namuli, northern Mozambique: retracing Vincent’s footsteps. African Bird Club Bulletin 6: 138-143.Click here for online version
  • Spottiswoode, C. 1999 Review: Roberts’ Multimedia Birds of Southern Africa. Africa: Birds & Birding 4(5):12-13.
  • Herremans, M, Herremans-Tonnoeyr, D., Pryce, E. & Spottiswoode, C.1994 Mortality of swallows and swifts in the Okavango during a mega cold spell. Babbler 28: 16-17.
  • Spottiswoode, C. 1994 Lesser Honeyguide parasitizing Cardinal Woodpecker. Promerops 213: 9.
  • Spottiswoode, C. 1993 Orangebreasted Sunbirds feeding on the ground. Promerops 208: 10-11.
  • Spottiswoode, C. 1993 Raptors in Newlands. Promerops


Jess Lund awarded an R. C. Lewontin Grant from the Society for the Study of Evolution

The Society for the Study of Evolution has awarded Jess Lund an R. C. Lewontin Graduate Research Excellence Grant, which will enable her to expand her investigations into the fascinating lives of honeyguides. This grant is awarded to students early in their PhD programmes to assist them in enhancing the scope of their research. Thank you to the SSE for their generous support of our work!

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New paper on eggshell surface properties

Stephanie McClelland’s paper entitled “Eggshell composition and surface properties of avian brood-parasitic species compared with non-parasitic species” has been published in the journal Royal Society Open Science. This study measured structural properties of the eggshells of brood parasites and their hosts around the world. The study found that…

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