Predatory Identity Can Explain Nest Predation Patterns

Jennifer L. Reidy and Frank R. Thompson III

in Video Surveillance of Nesting Birds

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780520273139
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780520954090 | DOI:
Predatory Identity Can Explain Nest Predation Patterns

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Knowledge of predators is necessary to mitigate losses to nest predation. We monitored songbird nests with video cameras at two areas in Texas. Snakes were the most frequent nest-predator group, followed by birds, fire ants, cowbirds, and mammals. Snake and fire ant predation primarily occurred at night, whereas bird predation occurred during the day. Mammal predation occurred during both day and night. Nest predation by birds, cowbirds, and mammals decreased throughout the breeding season, but that of fire ants and snakesincreased. The amount of urbanization in the landscape and nest height affected predator groups at shrub and canopy nests differently. We suggest future investigations of nest predation consider who the likely predators are and test predator-specific hypotheses.

Keywords: camera; cowbirds; endangered species; fire ants; nest predation; predation risk; predator identity; snakes; video

Chapter.  7209 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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