Oecologia

, Volume 81, Issue 1, pp 67–74

Ecological analyses of nesting success in evening grosbeaks

  • Marc Bekoff
  • Abby C. Scott
  • Douglas A. Conner
Original Papers

DOI: 10.1007/BF00377012

Cite this article as:
Bekoff, M., Scott, A.C. & Conner, D.A. Oecologia (1989) 81: 67. doi:10.1007/BF00377012

Summary

We studied the nesting success of Evening Grosbeaks (Coccothraustes vespertinus) inhabiting two areas of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado from 1983–1987. Sixty-four nests were followed during building, incubating, brooding, and fledging; 54.7% were successful (young fledged). The largest number of nests failed during incubation. Nests started later were more successful than nests begun earlier in the season. Failure was most likely due to severe weather, abandonment during building, or predation. Specific habitat characteristics of grosbeak nesting sites and where nests were placed in trees were consistently associated with nesting success. Successful nests, when compared with nests that failed, were: (1) built in more open areas characterized by dispersed vegetation and a higher minimum canopy, (2) oriented in more southerly directions, (3) built closer to the main trunk of the nest tree, and (4) built in larger trees. Current ideas about whether or not birds actually select nest-sites are briefly discussed. We conclude that some grosbeaks “optimally select” nest sites where the likelihood of producing fledglings is higher than in other areas.

Key words

Evening Grosbeaks Coccothraustes vespertinus Nest-site selection Nesting success Reproductive behavior 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc Bekoff
    • 1
  • Abby C. Scott
    • 1
  • Douglas A. Conner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental, Population, and Organismic BiologyUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA

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