- Title Pages
- Organisms and Environments
- Part one Relationships, Relationships
- Chapter 1 Bull to Bull and Cow to Bull
- Chapter 2 Cow to Cow
- Chapter 3 Cow to Calf
- Part Two The Machinery of a Bison’s Life
- Chapter 4 Bison Athletics
- Chapter 5 Digestion
- Chapter 6 Temperature Control
- Part Three Whence they Came Forth, and how Much they Multiplied
- Chapter 7 Ancestors and Relatives
- Chapter 8 How Many?
- Part Four The Bison’s Neighborhood
- Chapter 9 The Central Grassland
- PART FIVE The Bison’s Neighbors
- Chapter 10 Wolves and Bison
- Chapter 11 Buffalo Birds
- Chapter 12 Diseases and Parasites
- Chapter 13 Pronghorn
- Chapter 14 Prairie Dogs
- Chapter 15 Badgers
- Chapter 16 Coyotes
- Chapter 17 Grizzlies
- Chapter 18 Ferrets
- Part Six Human and Buffalo
- Chapter 19 Close Encounters of the Buffalo Kind
- Chapter 20 To Kill a Bison
- Chapter 21 Bison Numbers before the Great Slaughter
- Chapter 22 Where have all the Bison Gone?
- Chapter 23 Attitudes
- Chapter 24 Conservation
- Chapter 25 A Great Plains Park
- (p.105) Chapter 11 Buffalo Birds
- American Bison
Dale F. Lott
- University of California Press
As their eggs become ready to lay, female buffalo birds scout around for a place to lay them in already feathered nests containing newly laid eggs — always of another species, because buffalo birds don't make nests. The bird people call such birds brood parasites. Buffalo bird nestlings need to eat most of their weight every day. The logistics of depending on beater buffalo for food makes rearing a brood a chancy business. So traveling with the herd and being a brood parasite go together nicely. Somewhere else in all that DNA are instructions for finding bison and using them as beaters.
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