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Predation on Japanese quail vs. house sparrow eggs in artificial nests: small eggs reveal small predatorsAuthor(s): Thomas J. Maier; Richard M. DeGraaf
Source: The Condor 102:325-332
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (737.84 KB)
DescriptionNest predation studies frequently use eggs such as Japanese Quail (Coturnix japonica) to identify potential predators of Neotropical migrants' eggs, but such eggs may be too large or thick-shelled to identify the full complement of potential predators. We compared predation events and predators of Japanese Quail and smaller House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) eggs in paired, camera-monitored ground nests within edges and interiors of 40 mixed-hardwood forest stands in central Massachusetts. House Sparrow eggs were depredated significantly more than Japanese Quail eggs at both forest edges and interiors. Eleven potential predator species disturbed nests, six of which were confirmed as predators. Our use of House Sparrow eggs revealed predation by eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus) and Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus), but not by white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus), the most abundant small mammal species in all 40 stands. Neither predator species composition (as detected by camera) nor the frequency of nest predation differed between forest edge and interior. We conclude that the egg type used in artificial nest studies affects both the predation rates and the predator species detected.
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CitationMaier, Thomas J.; DeGraaf, Richard M. 2000. Predation on Japanese quail vs. house sparrow eggs in artificial nests: small eggs reveal small predators. The Condor 102:325-332
Keywordsartificial nests, nest predation, Peromyscus leucopus, Poecile atricapillus, predator behavior, small nest-predators, Tamias striatus
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