Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Variation in Song Sparrow Nest Defense: Individual Consistency and Relationship to Nest Success

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1997
Authors:Hatch, MI
Journal:The Condor
Date Published:1997
ISBN Number:00105422
Keywords:Corvidae, Corvus, Corvus caurinus, Corvus corone, Emberizidae, Junco, Junco hyemalis, Melospiza, Melospiza melodia, Passerella, Passerella melodia, Zonotrichia, Zonotrichia melodia
Abstract:I studied nest defense in 53 female Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia) on Mandarte Island, British Columbia, between 1994 and 1995. A total of 75 trials was conducted by presenting a Northwestern Crow (Corvus caurinus) and a Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) mount near nests during incubation. Female Song Sparrows spent more time perched close to the crow than the junco mount, and alarm called more often in the presence of the crow. Female responses were unrelated to their age and were not correlated with the subsequent success of their nests. Individual female responses to the junco, but not the crow mount, in 1994 were significantly positively correlated with their responses in 1995. Individual responses to a predator model may not be consistent from year to year because of experiences with live predators or the inherent variability of nest defense behavior.
Short Title:The Condor
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith