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We document reproductive life history traits of the Three-striped Warbler (Basileuterus tristriatus) from 146 nests in Venezuela and compare our results to data from the literature for other tropical and temperate parulid species. Mean (± SE) clutch size was 1.96 ± 0.03 eggs (n = 96) and fresh egg mass was 2.09 ± 0.02 g. The incubation period was 15.8 ± 0.2 days (n = 23) and the nestling period was 10.5 ± 0.3 days (n = 12). Males did not incubate and rarely provided food for females during incubation. Females had 57 ± 2% (n = 49) nest attentiveness (% of time on the nest incubating), which caused egg temperature to commonly become cold relative to development. Both adults fed nestlings and feeding rates increased with nestling age. The growth rate constant for nestlings based on mass was K = 0.490, which is slower than for north temperate warblers. Predation was the primary source of nest failure and only 22% of nests were successful based on a Mayfield daily predation rate of 0.048 ± 0.006. Our literature review indicates parulids differ strongly in life histories between temperate and tropical/subtropical sites with species in the tropics having, on average, smaller clutches, longer incubation periods, lower nest attentiveness, longer off-bouts, and longer nestling periods.
The Greater Ani (Crotophaga major) is the least well-known of the communally breeding crotophagine cuckoos, although it is locally abundant in Panama and northern South America. We present substantial new life history information from 87 breeding groups of Greater Anis at Gatún Lake, Panama, and the first description of their conspicuous, highly stereotyped communal displays. Breeding groups were composed of two to five socially monogamous pairs; no pairs nested singly. Seven groups also included an unpaired individual, which in three cases was confirmed to be a 1-year-old male from the previous year's nest. Groups of two and three pairs were most common (accounting for 75 and 20% of groups, respectively); groups containing more than three pairs were rare and their nests were abandoned before incubation began. Eggs were large (∼17% of adult body mass) and varied greatly in size (19–37 g). Egg and nestling development were exceptionally rapid: eggs were incubated for 11–12 days and nestlings were capable of leaving the nest after 5 days, although adults continued to feed fledglings for several weeks. On average, each female laid 4.3 ± 0.9 eggs; three-pair groups had larger overall clutch sizes than did two-pair groups. The first 2–3 eggs to be laid were usually ejected from the nest by other group members, and number of ejected eggs increased with group size. Thirty-seven nests (43%) fledged at least one young successfully; snakes (Pseustes, Spilotes, Boa) and white-faced capuchin monkeys (Cebus capuchinus) were identified as nest predators.
Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) populations have been declining throughout their range, but some of the sharpest declines have been documented in the Mid-Atlantic states. We conducted a 2 year (2006–2007) breeding season (1 May–30 Sep) telemetry study in southern New Jersey to collect baseline data on Northern Bobwhite reproductive rates, and nest and brood microhabitat selection. We located 23 Northern Bobwhite nests, of which 21 were usable for survival analyses. Incubation-period nest survival rate was 0.454 ± 0.010 (95% CI = 0.280–0.727). Mean clutch size was 14.2 ± 0.58 (range 10–19, n = 20) and hatching success was 96.1 ± 2.0% (range 86–100%, n = 10). The estimated probability that an individual that entered the breeding season would initiate incubation of ≥1 nest was 0.687 for females and 0.202 for males. Nest microhabitat selection was positively related to visual obstruction and percentage of litter. Brood microhabitat selection was positively related to visual obstruction, vegetation height, and percentage of forbs but negatively related to percentage of cool season grass and litter. Fecundity metrics for Northern Bobwhites in southern New Jersey appear similar to those reported elsewhere in the species' range. Conservation efforts to increase Northern Bobwhite reproductive success in southern New Jersey should focus on increasing the quantity of available breeding habitat.
Scoter vocalizations may have a role in pair formation and pair bonding. I compared the courtship calls of male Black Scoters (Melanitta nigra nigra and M. n. americana) using published and archived recordings. Courtship calls of the two subspecies differed diagnosably in duration. In contrast, recordings from different localities within the ranges of each taxon showed no diagnosable differentiation. This finding represents the first indication these taxa differ in characters other than bill morphology and supports recent proposals to treat M. n. americana as a distinct species (M. americana). Vocal displays, in contrast to courtship displays, of anatids have not been used for assessment of species limits in Anatidae. My results indicate vocalizations are a potentially useful additional character in species-level taxonomy of anatids.
We examined the complex of populations of the Loggerhead Kingbird (Tyrannus caudifasciatus), a West Indian endemic. We separate populations in Puerto Rico and Isla Vieques (T. taylori), and Hispaniola (T. gabbii) as distinct species. Subspecific distinction is assigned to populations in Cuba, Isla de Pinos, and Cuban satellites (T. caudifasciatus caudifasciatus); Cayman Islands (T. c. caymanensis); Jamaica (T. c. jamaicensis); and the Bahamas (T. c. bahamensis) on the basis of differences in plumage coloration and pattern, size, vocalizations, and distribution.
Songs of individual male Blue Grosbeaks (Passerina caerulea) typically begin with the same combination of elements, but the sequence and number of elements in the latter portion of songs vary. We examined the possible functions of within-song variation in Blue Grosbeaks at the Blue Grass Army Depot near Richmond, Kentucky, USA from 15 April to 31 July 2007. We examined singing rates and song characteristics of second-year (SY; n = 6) and after-second-year (ASY; n = 14) males, and conducted playback experiments (n = 15) to identify the possible function of variation in song length. Male Blue Grosbeaks sang at highest rates prior to pairing, maintained relatively high singing rates during the post-pairing/pre-nesting and nest-building/egg-laying stages, and sang at lower rates during the incubation, nestling, and fledgling stages. These results suggest high singing rates are important in attracting mates and establishing territories, and lower singing rates may result from trade-offs associated with parental care. Males used longer songs during aggressive encounters with conspecifics and responded more aggressively to playback of longer songs. This suggests songs containing more elements signal increased aggression. Within-song variation may be an important way to vary song meaning for male Blue Grosbeaks, and perhaps other males in species with a single song type but repertoires of several different song elements.
Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) began re-colonizing sites across the Pacific in the 1970s after severe population declines, and fledged the first chick on the island of Oahu in 1992. We report the status of Laysan Albatross populations at Kaena Point and Kuaokala on the island of Oahu, Hawaii and provide new demographic data for this species. Colonies on Oahu were monitored weekly from 2004 to 2008; all individuals were censused, banded, and genetically identified to gender. There was a population of 365 adults on Oahu in 2008 of which 47% were active breeders. The breeding population increased 27% annually since 1991. The high rate of increase was due primarily to immigration with some local recruitment. Recaptures indicate that seven birds were from French Frigate Shoals, one was from Midway Atoll, and 52 were from Oahu and returning to breed; all other adults were of unknown origin. Hatching rate (62%), fledging rate (78%), and overall reproductive success (48%) were comparable to other colonies despite occasional predation. The rate of adult dispersal was high with up to 10% of birds observed each day on Oahu visiting from Kauai. Adults occasionally changed breeding colonies between seasons, and even visited other islands while actively breeding on Oahu. While small, these colonies are at higher elevations and may serve as refugia in the event of sea level rise and, thus, should continue to be conservation priorities.
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on the Delmarva Peninsula, Maryland, USA has been the wintering area of a small population of Lesser Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens caerulescens; LSGO) since the 1930s. Snow Geese primarily pair in wintering areas and gene flow could be restricted between this and other LSGO wintering populations. Winter pair formation also could facilitate interbreeding with sympatric but morphologically differentiated Greater Snow Geese (C. c. atlantica; GSGO).We sequenced 658 bp of the mitochondrial DNA control region for 68 Snow Geese from East Coast and Louisiana wintering populations to examine the level of genetic differentiation among populations and subspecies. We found no evidence for genetic differentiation between LSGO populations but, consistent with morphological differences, LSGO and GSGO were significantly differentiated. We also found a lack of genetic differentiation between different LSGO morphotypes from Louisiana. We examined available banding data and found the breeding range of Delmarva LSGO overlaps extensively with LSGO that winter in Louisiana, and documented movements between wintering populations. Our results suggest the Delmarva population of LSGO is not a unique population unit apart from Mid-Continent Snow Geese.
We studied adult Peruvian Boobies (Sula variegata) on two islands in northern Peru to classify males and females using DNA-based techniques. We used this information to (1) assess the extent of size dimorphism in this species, (2) identify males and females using discriminant functions of external characters, and (3) validate use of voice as a reliable method for identifying male and female Peruvian Boobies in the field. Female Peruvian Boobies were 19% heavier and their culmens and wings were 3 and 4% larger than males, respectively. A discriminant function that included body weight and wing chord correctly classified 90% of the birds. Alternatively, 88% of correct identification of males and females was obtained with a function that incorporated only wing chord. Whistles were performed exclusively by males (25/25 of cases), whereas grunts or goose-like honk vocalizations were performed only by females (24/24 of cases). The female-larger size dimorphism of Peruvian Boobies is intermediate in comparison to other Sula boobies. Calls and biometry provide a fast, reliable, and inexpensive method for classifying most adult Peruvian Boobies as males or females in the field. We recommend a hierarchical system for classification of male and female Peruvian Boobies: (1) use of vocalizations, (2) use of body weight and wing chord when the bird did not vocalize and was weighed immediately after daybreak or before the first feeding trip of the day, and (3) use of wing chord only when there is uncertainty in temporal variations of body weight.
We recorded 62 bird species on Clarion Island, Mexico (Revillagigedo Archipelago, Pacific Ocean) during 1998–2006, eight of which breed there, 52 are considered non-breeders, and breeding is likely but unconfirmed for the Red-billed Tropicbird (Phaethon aethereus), Nazca Booby (Sula granti), and an unidentified shearwater. Thirty species are new for the island. A census of the Clarion Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia rostrata) in 2002/03 suggested a maximum total population of ∼850 pairs. At least 46 pairs of Laysan Albatrosses (Phoebastria immutabilis) bred in 2002/03, but the species experienced total breeding failure during our study. This result was unexpected because feral pigs (Sus scrofa) were successfully eradicated from Clarion by 2002; endemic Clarion Ravens (Corvus corax clarionensis), an endemic snake (Clarion Racer, Masticophis anthonyi), and an unidentified ant were associated with egg and hatchling failures. A small colony of an unidentified shearwater could be a recolonization by the endemic and Critically Endangered Townsend's Shearwater (Puffinus auricularis) or Wedge-tailed Shearwater (P. pacificus), which has not been recorded for Clarion Island.
We investigated seed predation and dispersal by nine Darwin's finch (Geospizinae) species, including species previously regarded as seed predators or insectivores. All nine ate fruit. Eight commonly discarded seeds, acting as short-distance dispersers. Seven defecated viable seeds, being therefore potential longer-distance dispersers. Fruit comprised the majority of dietary items in all four Geospiza species and Small Tree Finch (Camarhynchus parvulus). All except Common Cactus Finch (G. scandens) defecated intact seeds. The highest proportions of feces containing viable seeds were of Small Ground Finch (G. fuliginosa) and the “insectivorous” species Woodpecker Finch (Camarhynchus pallidus) and Warbler Finch (Certhidea olivacea). These two may be more important endochorous dispersers than other species that eat more fruit but are better seed predators. Intact seeds were found in 23% of fecal samples; 50% of the samples with intact seeds had viable seeds. The most frequently encountered intact seeds were of the tiny-seeded, fleshy-fruited Miconia robinsoniana and a sedge, Kyllinga brevifolia. Dry fruit, such as sedges and grasses, were usually crushed but occasionally found intact in feces, and might frequently be dispersed long distances. Seeds of larger-seeded, fleshy-fruited species were often discarded, but may be commonly dispersed short distances. Dispersal of plants by finches is probably more common than suggested by their predominant feeding patterns of seed predation and insectivory, and rare long-distance dispersal could be important for plant evolution and spread of introduced plants in the Galapagos Islands.
The Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) is of major conservation and management concern in the northeastern United States. We studied habitat use of foraging adult male and female harriers on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts among four habitat types: grassland, shrubland, mowed, and burned. Overall, foraging indices were not correlated to nest proximity and harriers foraged significantly less frequently in mowed habitat than in the other habitat types. Management of harrier habitat in the northeastern United States may not exclusively require grasslands, and mowing reduces foraging habitat.
We compared depredation rates of natural and artificial nests of Seaside Sparrows (Ammodramus maritimus) within winter burned and unburned marsh breeding habitats. Natural nests on burned sites in 2002 were depredated at a higher rate (35.3%) during the incubation stage, compared to unburned sites (13.3%). Depredation rates of natural nests were similar between burn treatments during the nestling stage. Artificial nests exhibited significantly higher depredation rates during the incubation stage on burned compared to unburned sites in 2002. No artificial nest studies were conducted in 2003, but we examined natural nest depredation rates. Depredation rates on natural nests in 2003 were similar between burned and unburned sites during both incubation and nestling stages. Differences in nest depredation rates between 2002 and 2003 may be due to increased rainfall in 2003 leading to higher biological productivity, reduced burn effectiveness and coverage, as well as a change in nest placement by Seaside Sparrows on burned sites. Shrub-nesting species may not be as vulnerable to higher rates of nest depredation induced by prescribed burning because fire appears to only minimally impact woody shrubs, while greatly reducing biomass of herbaceous vegetation.
We studied orientation-dependent differences in nest box microclimate and American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) reproductive parameters in Idaho, USA. Unoccupied nest boxes facing west were ∼0.6° C cooler than boxes that faced south or east and had ∼20% lower relative humidity levels than boxes facing all other cardinal directions. Clutches in occupied boxes that faced southwest had a proportionately lower chance of hatching success (12 of 21 nests were successful), defined as having at least one egg hatch, than boxes that faced northwest (9 of 9 nests) or southeast (9 of 12 nests). The possible link between orientation-dependent differences in microclimate and hatching success, and the question of whether American Kestrels may select for orientation adaptively requires further investigation.
Tachycineta swallows nest in secondary cavities and build nests made of a mat of dry grasses with a nest cup lined with feathers. The insulative quality of feathers may prevent hypothermia of the chicks and increase chick growth, but also may raise the risk of nestling hyperthermia if ambient temperature is high. The number of feathers added to the nest should vary throughout the breeding season according to ambient temperature. We describe nest structure and timing of nest building of Chilean Swallows (Tachycineta meyeni) nesting in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. We analyzed the association between number of feathers in the nest and (1) daily ambient temperature during the period swallows add feathers to the nest, and (2) hatching success of eggs and survival and growth of the chicks. There was a negative association between number of feathers added to the nest and average daily ambient temperature during the nesting cycle. Hatching success was not associated with number of feathers at start of laying or at the end of incubation. There was no association between number of feathers and chick survival or between number of feathers and average weight of the chicks when they were 12 and 15 days of age. Chilean Swallows make temporal adjustments to the number of feathers added to the nest. We suggest these adjustments may help maintain reproductive success throughout the breeding season.
We provide the first description of the nest, eggs, and nestlings of the Planalto Woodcreeper (Dendrocolaptes platyrostris), a secondary cavity-nester, based on three nests in natural cavities and 14 in nest boxes. Nests were found from October to January in 1997, 2006, and 2007 in the humid Chaco and Atlantic Forest of Argentina. Planalto Woodcreepers used natural cavities and nest boxes 40–60 cm deep with entrance diameters of 5–12 cm. They selected the deepest nest boxes available. Three or four white eggs were laid on a bed of bark flakes and incubated for 14–16 days. Newly hatched nestlings had pink skin with gray down, yellow mouth linings, and large whitish gape flanges. They opened their eyes when 6–7 days of age and fledged at 16–18 days. Nearly all nestlings were infested with botflies (Philornis sp.). Both adults contributed to nest building, incubation, nestling-rearing, and nest sanitation.
We studied the breeding biology of Purple Swamphens (Porphyrio porphyrio poliocephalus) at Nainar Pond in Tirunelveli, South India from January 2003 to May 2004. Peak breeding activity occurred from the second week of January to the first week of March. Nests were built on thick floating vegetation closest to the bank of the pond. Nesting material consisted of whole plants, stems, and leaves of Eichhornia crassipes, Jussieua repens, Pistia stratiotes, Ipomoea aquatica, and Cyperus rotundus with E. crassipes being most preferred. Nest dimensions were variable. Clutch size varied from three to seven eggs with a mean (± SD) clutch size of 4.5 ± 1.5 and a model clutch size of four eggs. Mean volume of all eggs was 32.3 ± 3.5 cm3. The length of the incubation period was estimated as 19.8 ± 1.2 days. Nest and egg hatching success were estimated as 80.0% and 61.1%, respectively, while overall fledging success was 42.0%.
We found nine nests of the Grey-hooded Parrotbill (Paradoxornis zappeyi) during April through July 2003 at Wawushan Natural Reserve, Sichuan, southwestern China. This report is the first description of the nest sites, nests, eggs, and breeding behavior of this parrotbill, and the first documentation of nestling growth from hatching until fledging. The nests were constructed mainly of bamboo (Bashania faberi) leaves, fibrous roots, and moss by both male and female. Nests were bowl shaped and in bamboo thickets 81–122 cm above ground, and 17–68 cm below the top of bamboo leaves. Clutch size was 3.1 eggs (n = 8 nests) and eggs were oval, pale blue in color with a mean mass of 1.3 g. Incubation and provisioning of nestlings were by both parents. The nestling period was 13–14 days with a hatching rate of 0.52 and mean reproductive success rate of 0.48 fledglings per nest.
We studied breeding biology, parental roles, and social mating system of the Bay-capped Wren-Spinetail (Spartonoica maluroides), a habitat specialist furnariid, in the Argentinean pampas. We found 42 nests during 2004–2007, two during egg laying, 28 during incubation, and 12 with nestlings. Mean clutch size was 3.17 eggs (n = 29), the incubation period was 13 days, and nestlings remained in the nest for 12 days before fledgling. Bay-capped Wren-Spinetails are socially monogamous; both males and females develop a brood patch and contribute to incubation, brooding, and provisioning of nestlings. Wren-Spinetails are unique among furnariids as they build an open cup nest with a few presenting a loose domed roof. Breeding success of Bay-capped Wren-Spinetails was higher (total probability of nesting success = 0.508) than other species of sympatric passerines because of low nest predation and high nest survival rates during incubation and nestling rearing stages.
The Spot-billed Toucanet (Selenidera maculirostris) is an endemic member of the Ramphastidae occurring in the Atlantic Forest in Brazil. There is anecdotal literature about this species breeding in the wild, but no data are available about parental behavior and nest morphometry. We describe observations of parental behavior of the Spot-billed Toucanet including measurements of one nest in Ilha do Cardoso State Park, São Paulo, Brazil. The nest was inside a hollow of a Lauraceae tree with the entrance hidden by leaves of Aechmea sp. (Bromeliaceae). The Spot-billed Toucanet, based on our observations and review of the literature, nests in tree cavities between 2 and 7 m above ground and both parents provision the nestlings.
A variety of bird species have been shown to derive protection from nest predators by nesting in association with more aggressive or predatory species. We provide the first evidence of this interaction for a hummingbird. Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri) nests in southeast Arizona were found near the nests of two species of Accipiter raptors. Mayfield estimates of nest survival indicated nests within 300 m of active Accipiter nests have significantly higher probabilities (46 vs. 9%) of successfully fledging young.
Common Pigeons (Columba livia) and their feral domestic relatives nest in a variety of sites, but use of nests of other birds has not been reported. I documented 13 nesting attempts by feral Common Pigeons in seven large compound nests of Monk Parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus) in Cordoba, Argentina; at least three attempts produced nestling pigeons. The parakeets did not directly attack the pigeons, but either made an entrance tunnel or completely blocked the chamber entrances with thorny sticks where pigeons nested, eliminating access to chambers and causing the pigeons to abandon their nests.
Studies of song and its function in suboscine passerines are rare. We examined spatial and temporal variation in song structure in a wild population of Olive-sided Flycatchers (Contopus cooperi) and tested among hypotheses explaining this variation. Repeatable variation in song type was observed both within and among individuals. More than 10% of territorial males expressed atypical song types, i.e., permutations of sequential missing and repeated elements of the typical adult song. Atypical songs were predominantly expressed by unpaired males independent of habitat type. A small fraction of males sang atypical song through the middle of the breeding season, but all males sang only stereotypical adult song by the end of the season. These results suggest the expression of atypical songs reflect protracted vocal development rather than evolution of new song types, geographic variation in song structure, or an extensive song repertoire in Olive-sided Flycatchers.
The fertility announcement hypothesis proposes that avian males should sing at a high rate when their mate is fertile to guard their paternity. We examined if male Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia) sing more during the incubation period when they are free of constraints of physical mate guarding. We assessed song rates of eight males for 1 hr-periods every 1–2 days during each breeding stage over two consecutive broods within one season. Males sang significantly more during periods when their mate was incubating than during the pre-fertile, or fertile periods, or while feeding young (second brood). Males may be singing at high rates during incubation to maintain contact with their mate and/or to advertise for extra-pair copulations.
We studied the breeding biology of Grasshopper Sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum) on restored grasslands in Maryland from 1999 to present. We report the first documented cases of social polygyny in this species. Polygyny increased reproductive success for males in two of four cases, but its rarity suggests it is only a facultative behavior for this usually socially monogamous species
Sprague's Pipit (Anthus spragueii) is a ground-nesting passerine of the northern mixed-grass prairie. Few studies have examined the natural history and demography of the species, and little information exists on its mating system or parental care. We installed video monitoring systems at 11 randomly selected pipit nests to study parental care and nestling growth. We recorded one male providing parental care to nestlings in two nests active during the same time period. The male began delivering prey to nestlings and removing fecal sacs at both nests on day 5 of the nestling period. The male re-nested with one of his original mates 11 days after the nests failed, and began providing parental care to nestlings from day 2 until fledging. This is the first case of polygyny and male parental care documented for Sprague's Pipit. Future studies should examine the extent of polygyny in Sprague's Pipit using marked adults and genetic analyses.
We observed and video-taped actively nesting adult Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis) repeatedly feeding abandoned conspecific juveniles in a nearby nest. We used molecular techniques to confirm these nestlings were unrelated to the adults that fed them. The most likely explanation for the observed behavior is that it was a mistake resulting from parental response to the begging vocalizations in the nearby nest.
I report a case of snow bathing by House Finches (Carpodacus mexicanus), apparently the first for this species. As many as 15 finches bathed together, three to four at a time, in 18 cm of fresh loose snow in a manner typical when birds bathe in water or dirt: wings fluttered near the sides to spray the snow over the body with back and head plumage erected while the breast was pressed into the snow. Relatively few accounts of birds bathing in snow have been published. I found 23 prior reports of snow bathing for 16 North American species, mostly Passeriformes but including Falconiformes, Galliformes, Strigiformes, and Piciformes. Bathing in loose or uncompacted snow occurred more often than in wet or crusted snow, and there was a tendency for more than one bird to engage in snow bathing during each event. Brevity of accounts prevented identification of other factors that may be frequently associated with snow bathing. Bathing in snow is a routine behavior for some bird species, such as ptarmigan, and European accounts indicate that it is undoubtedly more widespread among North American species than shown by review of the literature.
We present two noteworthy observations of foraging Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura), including consumption of a marine toad (Bufo marinus) and a live juvenile cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus). To our knowledge, these observations are the first reports of any North American vulture consuming B. marinus or a Turkey Vulture taking live mammalian prey. Our observations highlight the potential for mechanical mowers to provide carrion for Turkey Vultures.
We used hydrogen stable isotopes in feathers collected from 1998 through 2003 to examine if there was differential migration of juvenile Merlins (Falco columbarius) and Northern Harriers (Circus cyaneus) through the Florida Keys, USA in fall. We examined differences by gender, population, and intra-season variation for 120 Merlins and 60 harriers. We found no difference in δDf values among years, and between genders, and dates of capture for either species.
Previous research reports bait-fishing in seven different species of ardeids. Our observations of Black-crowned Night Herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, USA are the first to detail both passive and active bait-fishing in the same species. These observations provide support for the hypothesis that passive bait-fishing is a precursor to development of active bait-fishing methods in wading birds.
We observed depredation of a Florida Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) nest of 4-day-old nestlings in April 2008 by the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta). This exotic species is known to depredate nests of other avian species, but we believe this is the first account of this species of fire ant preying upon young of the Florida Scrub-Jay. This observation is particularly important, as it entails an introduced species directly reducing reproductive success of a federally threatened species.