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1 May 2000 PREDATION ON JAPANESE QUAIL VS. HOUSE SPARROW EGGS IN ARTIFICIAL NESTS: SMALL EGGS REVEAL SMALL PREDATORS
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Abstract

Nest 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.

Thomas J. Maier and Richard M. DeGraaf "PREDATION ON JAPANESE QUAIL VS. HOUSE SPARROW EGGS IN ARTIFICIAL NESTS: SMALL EGGS REVEAL SMALL PREDATORS," The Condor 102(2), 325-332, (1 May 2000). https://doi.org/10.1650/0010-5422(2000)102[0325:POJQVH]2.0.CO;2
Received: 3 June 1999; Accepted: 1 January 2000; Published: 1 May 2000
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