Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub


    Artificial nests are widely used in avian field studies. However, it is unclear how well predation rates on artificial nests reflect predation rates on natural nests. Therefore, we compared survival rates of artificial nests (unused natural nests baited with House Sparrow eggs) with survival rates of active bird nests in the same habitat at the same sites. Survival rates of artificial nests (27.7%) were significantly lower than nest survival rates of natural nests (58.6%). Logistic regression analysis indicated that the inclusion of an index of nest concealment in addition to nest type (natural or artificial) significantly increased the amount of the variability in nest predation accounted for by the regression. However, because the relationship between nest survival and nest type (natural or artificial) was still highly significant even with nest concealment included in the model, we conclude that higher rates of nest predation on artificial nests were not entirely due to the greater conspicuousness of artificial nests. We suggest that lack of parental defense is an additional contributing factor responsible for higher predation rates on artificial nests and, therefore, is likely to be a potential confounding factor in future nest predation experiments using artificial nests.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    King, David I.; DeGraaf, Richard M.; Griffin, Curtice R.; Maier, Thomas J. 1999. Do Predation Rates on Artificial Nests Accurately Reflect Predation Rates on Natural Bird Nests?. J. Field Ornithol., 70(2):257-262

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page