The lining material is a key element of bird nests, serving primarily as insulation for the adult, eggs, and/or chicks, but collection of such material has an energetic cost. Our study investigated the nest-building effort of four species of tit (Paridae) in an English wood by quantifying the use of colored wool-like artificial material in nest lining from 2000 to 2010. We recorded the distances that birds carried the material from source to nest for each nest as an indirect measure of the energetic cost of collecting nest material to individual birds. Birds did not always use nest material from the nearest source to their nest, and some birds collected material from two, three or four well-separated sources. There was no detectable color preference in choice of material, and few birds traveled more than 200 m to gather the material. Use of the material appeared to depend on the species. Within defined areas around material dispensers not all individual Great Tits (Parus major) used the artificial material, and, for all species examined, the proportion of birds using the material declined with increasing distance between source and nest. Use of artificial material suggested that selection of nest materials was probably opportunistic but also reflected the preference of these species for a wool-like nest lining.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 114 • No. 2