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1 January 2016 Nest Site Selection and Nest Depredation of Carolina Chickadees
Danielle M. Frevola, Lindsey A. Walters
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Nest location is an important factor that influences nestlings’ success. Poor nest location could lead to exposure to predators and to a lack of nearby resources. We examined nest site selection and nest depredation of Carolina chickadees (Poecile carolinensis) from 2011–2015 at a field site with artificial nest boxes. In this cavity-nesting species, both members of a breeding pair inspect multiple cavities before deciding on a location to build a nest. We examined whether Carolina chickadee nest location preference and predation rates were related to factors such as proximity to the forest edge, a water source, neighboring cavities, and buildings, as well as the forest type the nest was located in. We found that Carolina chickadee nests that were closer to the forest edge were depredated more often; however, despite this increased risk of nest loss near the forest edge, the chickadees did not prefer boxes located away from the edge. The other factors that we measured were not related to nest box occupancy or predation risk. Future research should focus on why these birds continue to nest in more dangerous edge locations and on what other factors affect their nest selection decisions.

Journal of the Kentucky Academy of Science
Danielle M. Frevola and Lindsey A. Walters "Nest Site Selection and Nest Depredation of Carolina Chickadees," Journal of the Kentucky Academy of Science 77(1), 44-51, (1 January 2016).
Published: 1 January 2016
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