Importance of Structural Stability to Success of Mourning Dove Nests

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) Science Article 1

abstract

Studies of nest-sites election and nesting habitats often involve a ‘characterization’ of nests and of habitats in which nests are found. Our objective in the present work is to identify nest-site characteristics that are associated with variation in components of Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) fitness( e.g. the probability of a nest succeeding) as, opposed to simply ‘characterizing’ dove nest sites. If certain nestsite characteristics affect the probability that a nest will succeed, then we suspect that these characteristics will be associated with either concealment(the probability of detection by certain predators) or structural stability (the probability of eggs or entire nests falling to the ground as a result of wind, rain storms, parental activity, etc.). Although other workers agree that structural stability is an important determinant of Mourning Dove nesting success (e.g. McClure 1944:3 84; Woolfenden and Rohwer 1969:5 9), we are aware of no actual tests of this hypothesis.

RICHARD A. COON, JAMES D. NICHOLS, H. FRANKLIN PERCIVAL, The Auk, Vol. 98, 389-391

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