Chestnut-crowned babbler

Image: Jodie Crane

The chestnut-crowned babbler Pomatostomus ruficeps, is a cooperatively breeding passerine endemic to the arid zone in south-eastern Australia. We have collaborated on the research project led by Dr Andy Russell (Exeter University, UK), in studying a marked, and intensively monitored population of this species at Fowlers Gap since 2004. We have monitored reproduction over this time and genotyped nearly all individuals, enabling us to understand the mating system, reproductive ecology and the direct and indirect benefits of helping.


Publications arising from this research:

Sorato E, Griffith SC, Russell AF. The price of associating with breeders in the cooperatively breeding chestnut-crowned babbler: foraging constraints, survival and sociality. Journal of Animal Ecology, 85, 1340-1351.

Liebl A, Browning LE, Russell AF. Carer removal and brood size manipulation: not equivalent to quantify carer impacts on provisioning. Behavioural Ecology in Press.

Liebl A, Nomano FY, Browning LE, Russell AF. Experimental evidence for fully additive care among male carers in the cooperatively breeding chestnut-crowned babbler. Animal Behaviour in Press.

Crane JMS, Savage JL, Russell AF. Diversity and function of vocalisations in the cooperatively breeding chestnut-crowned babbler. Emu in press.

Russell AF (2016). Chestnut-crowned babblers: Dealing with climatic adversity and uncertainty in the Australian arid zone in Koenig WD, Dickinson JL (eds.) Chestnut-crowned Babblers: Dealing with Climatic Adversity and Uncertainty in the Australian Arid Zone, MA, USA: Cambridge University Press, 150-164.

Crane JMS, Pick JL, Tribe AJ, Vincze E, Hatchwell BJ, Russell AF (2015). Chestnut-crowned babblers show affinity for calls of removed group members: a dual playback without expectancy violation. Animal Behaviour, 104, 51-57.

Engesser S, Crane JM, Crane JMS, Savage JL, Russell AF, Townsend SW (2015). Experimental Evidence for Phonemic Contrasts in a Nonhuman Vocal System. Plos Biol, 13(6).

Savage JL, Russell AF, Johnstone RA (2015). Maternal allocation in cooperative breeders: Should mothers match or compensate for expected helper contributions?. Animal Behaviour, 102, 189-197.

Sorato E, Gullett PR, Creasey MJS, Griffith SC, Russell AF (2015). Plastic territoriality in group-living chestnut-crowned babblers: Roles of resource value, holding potential and predation risk. Animal Behaviour, 101, 155-168.

Nomano FY, Browning LE, Savage JL, Rollins LA, Griffith SC, Russell AF (2015). Unrelated helpers neither signal contributions nor suffer retribution in chestnut-crowed babblers. Behavioral Ecology, 26(4), 986-995.

Nomano FY, Browning LE, Nakagawa S, Griffith SC, Russell AF (2014). Validation of an automated data collection method for quantifying social networks in collective behaviours. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 68(8), 1379-1391.

Nomano FY, Browning LE, Rollins LA, Nakagawa S, Griffith SC, Russell AF (2013). Feeding nestlings does not function as a signal of social prestige in cooperatively breeding chestnut-crowned babblers. Animal Behaviour.

Savage JL, Russell AF, Johnstone RA (2013). Intra-group relatedness affects parental and helper investment rules in offspring care. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 67(11), 1855-1865.

Savage JL, Russell AF, Johnstone RA (2013). Maternal costs in offspring production affect investment rules in joint rearing. Behavioral Ecology, 24(3), 750-758.

Young CM, Browning LE, Savage JL, Griffith SC, Russell AF (2013). No evidence for deception over allocation to brood care in a cooperative bird. Behavioral Ecology, 24(1), 70-81.

Rollins LA, Browning LE, Holleley CE, Savage JL, Russell AF, Griffith SC (2012). Building genetic networks using relatedness information: a novel approach for the estimation of dispersal and characterization of group structure in social animals. Mol Ecol, 21(7), 1727-1740.

Browning LE, Young CM, Savage JL, Russell DJF, Barclay H, Griffith SC, Russell AF (2012). Carer provisioning rules in an obligate cooperative breeder: Prey type, size and delivery rate. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 66(12), 1639-1649. Abstract.

Sorato E, Gullett PR, Griffith SC, Russell AF (2012). Effects of predation risk on foraging behaviour and group size: adaptations in a social cooperative species. Animal Behaviour, 84(4), 823-834.

Browning LE, Patrick SC, Rollins LA, Griffith SC, Russell AF (2012). Kin selection, not group augmentation, predicts helping in an obligate cooperatively breeding bird. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences, 279(1743), 3861-3869.

Russell AF, Portelli DJ, Russell DJF, Barclay H (2010). Breeding ecology of the Chestnut-crowned Babbler: a cooperative breeder in the desert. Emu, 110(4), 324-331.

Holleley CE, Russell AF, Griffith SC (2009). Isolation and characterization of tetranucleotide loci in the chestnut-crowned babbler Pomatostomus ruficeps. Molecular Ecology Resources, 9, 993-995.

Portelli DJ, Barclay H, Russell DJF, Griffith SC, Russell AF (2009). Social organisation and foraging ecology of the cooperatively breeding Chestnut-crowned Babbler (Pomatostomus ruficeps). Emu, 109(2), 153-162.