Predation at the nest is the largest source of reproductive failure for many species of passerine birds, and so it is important that we understand the details surrounding such predation events. With the advent of small video and temperature recorders, nests can now be monitored remotely and predator identity can be assigned. Using remote data collection techniques, we report the unusual observation of a White-throated Sparrow nestling being taken by a juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk. Normally, Sharp-shinned Hawks focus their efforts on fledgling birds; however, if they do take nestlings, they tend to be from arboreal-nesting species. Since the White-throated Sparrow is a ground-nesting passerine, we suspect that a combination of nest location, nest structure, vegetation structure within the territory, and age of the nestlings made this nest an ideal target for an opportunistic young Sharp-shinned Hawk.
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