Cuckoo Finches Anomalospiza imberbis are brood parasitic finches that exploit various species of warblers as their hosts. They have evolved beautiful mimicry not only of their different host species, but also of different host colour and patterns, or 'forgeries' to their hosts' egg 'signatures'.
GREATER AND LESSER HONEYGUIDES
Honeyguides are intriguingly bizarre birds with respect to most aspects of their lives. They guide humans to bees' nests, are unusually brutal brood parasites of other birds and, it turns out, have a remarkably ancient history of specialisation on their particular host species.
AFRICAN AND DIEDERIK CUCKOOS
African Cuckoo eggs are probably the very best forgeries of any brood parasitic egg in the world. They can so closely resemble those of their hosts that neither we nor the hosts can tell them apart.
VIDUA FINCHES: WHYDAHS AND INDIGOBIRDS
Vidua finches, the indigobirds and whydahs, belong to the same family as Cuckoo Finches but have a fascinatingly different brood parasitic system involving beautiful mimicry of their host chicks' bizarrely pattern mouthparts.
Since 2010 Marjorie Sorensen has carried out PhD research on the winter ecology of Palearctic-breeding migratory birds (Willow Warblers and Great Reed Warblers) that spend the non-breeding season in Choma, and has discovered fascinating things about song and territoriality.
In collaboration with Exeter University's Sensory Ecology Group led by Martin Stevens, we study camouflage in eggs, chicks and incubating adults of ground-nesting birds in Choma: nightjars, coursers and plovers.