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
    Author(s): Kathryn L. Purcell; Jared Verner; Lewis W. Oring
    Date: 1997
    Source: The Auk. 114(4): 646-656
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (483 KB)

    Description

    We compared laying date, nesting success, clutch size, and productivity of four bird species that nest in boxes and tree cavities to examine whether data from nest boxes are comparable with data from tree cavities. Western Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) gained the most advantage from nesting in boxes. They initiated egg laying earlier, had higher nesting success, lower predation rates, and fledged marginally more young in boxes than in cavities but did not have larger clutches or hatch more eggs. Plain Titmice (Parus inornatus) nesting in boxes had marginally lower predation rates, hatched more eggs, and fledged more young. They did not have higher overall nesting success, nor did they initiate clutches significantly earlier in boxes. House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon) nesting in boxes laid larger clutches, hatched more eggs, and fledged more young and had marginally higher nesting success and lower predation rates. Ash-throated Flycatchers (Myiarchus cinerascens) experienced no apparent benefits from nesting in boxes versus cavities. No significant relationships were found between clutch size and bottom area or volume of cavities for any of these species. These results suggest that researchers should use caution when extrapolating results from nestbox studies of reproductive success, predation rates, and productivity of cavity-nesting birds. Given the different responses of these four species to nesting in boxes, the effects of the addition of nest boxes on community structure also should be considered.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to psw_communications@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • 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.

    Citation

    Purcell, Kathryn L.; Verner, Jared; Oring, Lewis W. 1997. A comparison of the breeding ecology of birds nesting in boxes and tree cavities. The Auk. 114(4): 646-656

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/20509