Scientific Journal of the BirdLife Hungary

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület tudományos folyóirata

Ornis Hungarica. vol.27(2). (2019) p.115-141.

Cases of occasional interspecific brood parasitism and egg dumping in Hungary
László Haraszthy

Download full article: [pdf] (7774 Kb)


There are numerous publications in the ornithological literature on mixed-species broods, i.e. on cases when a species lays some or all of its eggs into the nests of other species. This phenomenon, known as brood parasitism, has not yet been studied in Hungary. Here, I use the term brood parasitism, but I could not separate cases of egg dumping, a reproductive error by females. Based on literature and my own observations, I found evidence for interspecific brood parasitism in 28 species breeding in Hungary, not including the cases of the obligate interspecific brood parasite, the Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus). Only one of these belongs to passerines, while in the rest of the cases, this phenomenon occurred in representatives of non-passerine families. However, cases of brood parasitism and nest parasitism have to be treated separately. The latter refers to cases when a species occupies a nest, usually a nesthole or nestbox, already containing eggs of another species, and lays its own eggs next to the foreign eggs. The present study provides data on European Roller (Coracias garrulus), Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus), Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo), tit species (Parus, Cyanistes, Poecile spp.), Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea) and Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus), but in all likelihood the number of species involved is much higher.