Identification of Sprague's Pipit Nest Predators

Stephen K. Davis, Stephanie L. Jones, Kimberly M. Dohms and Teslin G. Holmes

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:
Identification of Sprague's Pipit Nest Predators

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Nest predation is the primary factor influencing the reproductive success ofgrassland songbirds.Therefore, understanding factors driving spatial and temporal variation in nest survival requires that we identify the primary nest predators and factors influencing predator abundance and behavior. We used video photography to identify predators of Sprague’s pipit nests in Saskatchewan and Montana. Northern harriers and thirteen-lined ground squirrels were the most common nest predators documented on videotape, along with mice, voles, deer, striped skunks, coyotes, black-billed magpies, western meadowlarks, and garter snakes.Most predation events occurred during the nestling stage and during the day. The diverse predator communities documented destroying grassland songbird nests presents many challenges for land managers attempting to increase reproductive success of pipits and other grassland birds.

Keywords: grassland birds; nest predation; nest predators; northern harrier; Sprague’s pipit; thirteen-lined ground squirrel; video; western meadowlark

Chapter.  6491 words. 

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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