doc. Ing. Marcel Honza, Dr.

Position: director of the Institute
Research topics: behavioural ecology
Department: Research facility Brno
Phone: +420 543 422 554

Running Projects

Reproductive strategies of an obligate brood parasite: host selection, offspring sex allocation and individual success (2017-2019)

Finished Projects

Cues, recognition and responses in a coevolutionary arms race between brood parasites and their hosts

Evolution of antiparasitic strategies of selected hosts towards avian brood parasitism

Host-parasite interaction as an extreme form of parent-offspring conflict (2012-2016)

Current students

Former students



Blažek R., Polačik M., Smith C., Honza M., Meyer A., Reichard M.: Success of cuckoo catfish brood parasitism reflects coevolutionary history and individual experience of their cichlid hosts, Science Advances 4 (2018) .

Honza M., Požgayová M., Petrželková A., Procházka P.: Does host-absent vocalisation of common cuckoo chicks increase hosts’ food provisioning behaviour?, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 72 (2018) .

Koleček J., Šulc M., Piálková R., Troscianko J., Požgayová M., Honza M., Procházka P.: Rufous Common Cuckoo chicks are not always female, Journal of Ornithology (2018) .

Požgayová M., Piálková R., Honza M., Procházka P.: Sex-specific nestling growth in an obligate brood parasite: Common Cuckoo males grow larger than females, Auk 135 (2018) 1033-1042.

Samaš P., Rutila J., Honza M., Kysučan M., Grim T.: Rearing a virulent common cuckoo is not extra costly for its only cavity-nesting host, Proceedings of the Royal Society. B - Biological Sciences 285 (2018) .

Sosnovcová K., Koleček J., Požgayová M., Jelínek V., Šulc M., Steidlová P., Honza M., Procházka P.: Timing of natal nests is an important factor affecting return rates of juvenile Great Reed Warblers, Journal of Ornithology 159 (2018) 183-190.


Čapek M., Petrusková T., Šebelíková Z., Serrano J. C., Procházka P., Honza M., Požgayová M.: Great Reed Warbler singing behavior and conspicuous song structures are not nest-location cues for the Common Cuckoo, Journal of Ornithology 158 (2017) 925-933.

Igic B., Hauber M. E., Moskát C., Grim T., Shawkey M. D., Procházka P., Honza M.: Brood parasite and host eggshells undergo similar levels of decalcification during embryonic development, Journal of Zoology 301 (2017) 165-173.


Hanley D., Šulc M., Brennan P. L. R., Hauber M. E., Grim T., Honza M.: Dynamic egg color mimicry, Ecology and Evolution 6 (2016) 4192-4202.

Jelínek V., Karasová T., Weidinger K., Procházka P., Honza M.: Do common cuckoo chicks suffer nest predation more than host nestlings?, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 70 (2016) 1975-1987.

Jelínek V., Požgayová M., Honza M., Procházka P.: Nest as an extended phenotype signal of female quality in the great reed warbler, Journal of avian biology 47 (2016) 428-437.

Koleček J., Procházka P., El-Arabany N., Tarka M., Ilieva M., Hahn S., Honza M., de la Puente J., Bermejo A., Gürsoy A., Bensch S., Zehtindjiev P., Hasselquist D., Hansson B.: Cross-continental migratory connectivity and spatiotemporal migratory patterns in the great reed warbler, Journal of avian biology 47 (2016) 756-767.

Šulc M., Procházka P., Čapek M., Honza M.: Birds use eggshell UV reflectance when recognizing non-mimetic parasitic eggs, Behavioral Ecology 27 (2016) 677-684.

Šulc M., Procházka P., Čapek M., Honza M.: Common cuckoo females are not choosy when removing an egg during parasitism, Behavioral Ecology 27 (2016) 1642-1649.

Trnka A., Požgayová M., Procházka P., Čapek M., Honza M.: Chemical defence in avian brood parasites: production and function of repulsive secretions in common cuckoo chicks, Journal of avian biology 47 (2016) 288-293.


Abraham M., Požgayová M., Procházka P., Piálková R., Honza M.: Is there a sex-specific difference between parasitic chicks in begging behaviour?, Journal of Ethology 33 (2015) 151-158.

Honza M., Feikusová K., Procházka P., Picman J.: How to hatch from the Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) egg: implications of strong eggshells for the hatching muscle (musculus complexus), Journal of Ornithology 156 (2015) 679-685.

Jelínek V., Procházka P., Honza M.: Experimental enlargement of nest size does not increase risk of predation or brood parasitism in the Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus, Ibis 157 (2015) 396-400.

Koleček J., Jelínek V., Požgayová M., Trnka A., Baslerová P., Honza M., Procházka P.: Breeding success and brood parasitism affect return rate and dispersal distances in the great reed warbler, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 69 (2015) 1845-1853.

Petrželková A., Michálková R., Albrechtová J., Cepák J., Honza M., Kreisinger J., Munclinger P., Soudková M., Tomášek O., Albrecht T.: Brood parasitism and quasi-parasitism in the European barn swallow Hirundo rustica rustica, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 69 (2015) 1405-1414.

Požgayová M., Beňo R., Procházka P., Jelínek V., Abraham M., Honza M.: Lazy males and hardworking females? Sexual conflict over parental care in a brood parasite host and its consequences for chick growth, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 69 (2015) 1053-1061.


Honza M., Šulc M., Jelínek V., Požgayová M., Procházka P.: Brood parasites lay eggs matching the appearance of host clutches, Proceedings of the Royal Society. B - Biological Sciences 281 (2014) 20132665.

Honza M., Šulc M., Cherry M. I.: Does nest luminosity play a role in recognition of parasitic eggs in domed nests? A case study of the red bishop, Naturwissenschaften 101 (2014) 1009-1015.

Jelínek V., Procházka P., Požgayová M., Honza M.: Common cuckoos Cuculus canorus change their nest-searching strategy according to the number of available host nests, Ibis 156 (2014) 189-197.

Procházka P., Konvičková-Patzenhauerová H., Požgayová M., Trnka A., Jelínek V., Honza M.: Host genotype and age have no effect on rejection of parasitic eggs, Naturwissenschaften 101 (2014) 417-426.


Požgayová M., Procházka P., Honza M.: Is shared male assistance with antiparasitic nest defence costly in the polygynous great reed warbler?, Animal Behaviour 85 (2013) 615-621.

Trnka A., Požgayová M., Samaš P., Honza M.: Repeatability of host female and male aggression towards a brood parasite, Ethology 119 (2013) 907-917.


Honza M., Procházka P., Požgayová M.: Do weather conditions affect the colouration of great reed warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus eggs?, Folia zoologica 61 (2012) 219-224.

Honza M., Procházka P., Požgayová M.: Within- and between-season repeatability of eggshell colouration in the great reed warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus, Journal of avian biology 43 (2012) 91-96.

Procházka P., Jelínek V., Požgayová M., Honza M.: Jak určovat stáří rákosníků velkých (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) po úplném pelichání, Sylvia 48 (2012) 57-73.

Trnka A., Požgayová M., Procházka P., Prokop P., Honza M.: Breeding success of a brood parasite is associated with social mating status of its host, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 66 (2012) 1187-1194.


Grim T., Samaš P., Moskát C., Kleven O., Honza M., Moksnes A., Roskaft E., Stokke B. G.: Constraints on host choice: why do parasitic birds rarely exploit some common potential hosts?, Journal of Animal Ecology 80 (2011) 508-518.

Honza M., Procházka P., Morongová K., Čapek M., Jelínek V.: Do nest light conditions affect rejection of parasitic eggs? A test of the light environment hypothesis, Ethology 117 (2011) 539-546.

Honza M., Požgayová M., Procházka P., Cherry M. I.: Blue-green eggshell coloration is not a sexually selected signal of female quality in an open-nesting polygynous passerine, Naturwissenschaften 98 (2011) 493-499.

Polačiková L., Hauber M. E., Procházka P., Cassey P., Honza M., Grim T.: A sum of its individual parts? Relative contributions of different eggshell regions to intraclutch variation in birds, Journal of avian biology 42 (2011) 370-373.

Požgayová M., Procházka P., Polačiková L., Honza M.: Closer clutch inspection—quicker egg ejection: timing of host responses toward parasitic eggs, Behavioral Ecology 22 (2011) 46-51.


Čapek M., Požgayová M., Procházka P., Honza M.: Repeated presentations of the Common Cuckoo increase nest defense by the Eurasian Reed Warbler but do not induce it to make recognition errors, Condor 112 (2010) 763-769.

Honza M., Procházka P., Šicha V., Požgayová M.: Nest defence in a cuckoo host: great reed warblers risk themselves equally for their own and parasitic chicks, Behaviour 147 (2010) 741-756.

Polačiková L., Stokke B. G., Procházka P., Honza M., Moksnes A., Roskaft E.: The role of blunt egg pole characteristics for recognition of eggs in the song thrush (Turdus philomelos), Behaviour 147 (2010) 465-478.


Honza M., Piálková R., Albrecht T., Neužilová Š.: Nest defence against conspecific intruders in the common pochard Aythya ferina: natural observations and an experimental test, Acta Ornithologica 44 (2009) 151-158.

Moskát C., Hauber M. E., Avilés J. M., Bán M., Hargitai R., Honza M.: Increased host tolerance of multiple cuckoo eggs leads to higher fledging success of the brood parasite, Animal Behaviour 77 (2009) 1281-1290.

Polačiková L., Procházka P., Cherry M. I., Honza M.: Choosing suitable hosts: common cuckoos Cuculus canorus parasitize great reed warblers Acrocephalus arundinaceus of high quality, Evolutionary Ecology 23 (2009) 879-891.

Požgayová M., Procházka P., Honza M.: Sex-specific defence behaviour against brood parasitism in a host with female-only incubation, Behavioural Processes 81 (2009) 34-38.

Požgayová M., Procházka P., Honza M.: Adjustment of incubation according to the threat posed: a further signal of enemy recognition in the Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla?, Journal of Ornithology 150 (2009) 569-576.


Cassey P., Honza M., Grim T., Hauber M. E.: The modelling of avian visual perception predicts behavioural rejection responses to foreign egg colours, Biology Letters 4 (2008) 515-517.

Honza M., Moskát C.: Egg rejection behaviour in the great reed warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus): the effect of egg type, Journal of Ethology 26 (2008) 389-395.

Honza M., Polačiková L.: Experimental reduction of ultraviolet wavelengths reflected from parasitic eggs affects rejection behaviour in the blackcap Sylvia atricapilla, Journal of Experimental Biology 211 (2008) 2519-2523.

Hubálek Z., Halouzka J., Juřicová Z., Šikutová S., Rudolf I., Honza M., Janková J., Chytil J., Marec F., Sitko J.: Serologic survey of birds for West Nile Flavivirus in Southern Moravia (Czech Republic), Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 8 (2008) 659-666.

Ležalová-Piálková R., Honza M.: Responses of Black-headed Gulls Larus ridibundus to conspecific brood parasitism, Journal of Ornithology 149 (2008) 415-421.

Moksnes A., Roskaft E., Rudolfsen G., Skjelseth S., Stokke B. G., Kleven O., Gibbs H. L., Honza M., Taborsky B., Teuschl Y., Vogl W., Taborsky M.: Individual female common cuckoos Cuculus canorus lay constant egg types but egg appearance cannot be used to assign eggs to females, Journal of avian biology 39 (2008) 238-241.