Julie Thien - Terrestrial Animal Ecology Lab

Truman State University, Kirkville, MO

Temporal Patterns in Ground Nest Predation

  Predation has been documented as the primary cause of nest failure in songbirds.  Therefore, understanding rates and patterns of predation is vital to understanding bird reproductive success.  In this study, the temporal patterns of predation on ground nests were investigated.  “Early” and “late” season artificial ground nests baited with quail and clay eggs were constructed on three replicate forest plots and collected after two weeks.  Natural ovenbird nests were also found and monitored for success.  Results showed that late season artificial and natural nests suffered higher rates of predation than early season nests.  Small mammalian predators depredated the artificial nests significantly more than large mammalian predators.  Higher rates of predation in late nests could be due to the activity patterns or abundance of predators varying temporally throughout the season. 

Back to 2001 Interns