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1 June 2000 INVESTIGATOR EFFECTS ON THE NESTING SUCCESS OF ARID-ZONE BIRDS
Penn Lloyd, Robin M. Little, Timothy M. Crowe
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Abstract

We examined whether regular researcher visits affected egg hatchability or nest predation for three ground-nesting bird species that incur high levels of nest predation, primarily by small mammals. Frequently visited finch-lark (Eremopterix verticalis and E. australis) nests suffered similar predation to nests visited infrequently, suggesting that regular visits had no additive effects on nest survival. A comparison of finch-lark nests visited for the second time either one or two days after the first visit found that predation during the first 24 h (7.4%) was lower than predation during the second 24-h period (9.9%), suggesting that the act of visiting a nest did not increase the risk of predation. Daily predation rates on Namaqua Sandgrouse (Pterocles namaqua) and finch-lark nests showed no observable trend with an increasing number of visits over time, indicating that frequent visits had no cumulative effect on predation probabilities. Nests of both Grey-backed Finch-lark (E. verticalis) and Black-eared Finch-lark (E. australis) discovered at the egg stage did not fledge significantly fewer young than nests discovered at the nestling stage, suggesting that investigator disturbance had no effect on egg hatchability. These results from the southern hemisphere subtropics support the findings of limited north-temperate studies that largely mammalian nest predation does not increase after researcher disturbance.

Penn Lloyd, Robin M. Little, and Timothy M. Crowe "INVESTIGATOR EFFECTS ON THE NESTING SUCCESS OF ARID-ZONE BIRDS," Journal of Field Ornithology 71(2), 227-235, (1 June 2000). https://doi.org/10.1648/0273-8570-71.2.227
Received: 19 October 1998; Accepted: 1 May 1999; Published: 1 June 2000
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