Cooperative breeding in the Azure-winged Magpie

The phenomenon of cooperative breeding in birds is not yet fully understood and should be expanded to the study of different taxa, populations and even individuals within populations. The Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus) has a flexible cooperative breeding system, which appears in some populations but not in others, and cooperative breeding does not take place in specific breeding groups every year. This project aims to explore what are the driving force(s) of cooperative breeding, by describing how it works in the Mongolian population compared to others. The fieldwork is conducted since 2007 near the Khonin Nuga Research station and currently is being extended to six different breeding groups in the West Khentii Mountains, in Northern Mongolia.

Participating scientists:
Gantulga Bayandonoi (PhD candidate), Prof. Dr. Michael Muehlenberg, Prof. Dr. Eckhard W. Heymann, Prof. Dr. Peter M. Kappeler

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and Mike Madders Field Research Award

Gantulga Bayandonoi