Whitethroat as a principal host of Cuckoo in Kaliningrad region. - E.L. Lykov. – Berkut. 10 (2). 2001. - P. 213-217.
Cases of the nest parasitism by the Cuckoo were registered for 37 bird species on the territory of the Baltic Region (including Kaliningrad region of Russia). It is confirmed by literature data. The most frequent hosts are Redstart and White Wagtail. Only 3 cases of oviposition by Cuckoo were observed for nests of Whitethroat. 29 cases from 2060 finds of eggs and nestlings of Cuckoo in Eastern Europe and North Asia are concerned to Whitethroat (Numerov, 1993). A. Malchevsky (1987) considers that Whitethroat has secondary role as a host probably everywhere, but also he expects that in some areas this bird is able to came to be a principal host of Cuckoo with time. The aim of this research was collection of modern information on principal hosts of Cuckoo in Kaliningrad region. Materials were collected during 1994-2000 in Zelenograd, Gur’ev and Bagrationovsk districts of the region and in Kaliningrad city. 25 cases of nest parasitism were observed during the period of investigations. Whitethroat was the host in 24 cases. The host bird species was not identified for one case. Calculations show that Cuckoo covers 30 % of Whitethroat’s nests. Materials on eggs’ sizes, coloration and ovipositon periods are presented. During researching work one particularity in behaviour of Cuckoo was noted. It is connected with observations of this species near people (in outlying urban areas, on territory of fruit garden where few cases of nest parasitism were observed). Whitethroat is the principal host of Cuckoo in investigated areas of Kaliningrad region. White Wagtail, which was frequent host in the last, was not observed in this role. Whitethroat is a convenient bird species for nest parasitism. It is possible to maintain that Whitethroat was principal host of Cuckoo in the past and this species continues to play this role in the current time in Kaliningrad region. [Russian].
Key words: Cuckoo, Whitethroat, Cuculus canorus, Sylvia communis, breeding, nest parasitism.
Address: E.L. Lykov, Gaydar str., 99/69, 236029, Kaliningrad, Russia.