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1 April 2001 MICROCLIMATE OF TREE CAVITY NESTS: IS IT IMPORTANT FOR REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS IN NORTHERN FLICKERS?
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Abstract

I measured structural characteristics of 160 Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) nests at Riske Creek, British Columbia, and placed electronic data-loggers in a subsample of 86 nests to record internal temperatures after the flickers completed nesting. Using multiple regression, I found that the best predictors of a variety of nest-cavity temperature variables were tree health, diameter of the tree at cavity height, and orientation of the cavity. Small and dead trees showed the most extreme (maximum and minimum) temperatures during the day, but, on average, were the coldest nests from the perspective of incubation. South-facing cavities reached the highest temperatures during the day, and the orientation of natural cavities was also biased towards the south. I predicted that cold nests would be energetically expensive for adults and nestlings, and found that clutch size was positively correlated with mean cavity temperature. However, there did not appear to be any relationship among nest temperature and hatching or fledging success.

Karen L. Wiebe "MICROCLIMATE OF TREE CAVITY NESTS: IS IT IMPORTANT FOR REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS IN NORTHERN FLICKERS?," The Auk 118(2), (1 April 2001). https://doi.org/10.1642/0004-8038(2001)118[0412:MOTCNI]2.0.CO;2
Received: 18 January 2000; Accepted: 1 November 2000; Published: 1 April 2001
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