Placement of re-nests following predation: are birds managing risk?

Beckmann, Christa and McDonald, Paul G. 2016, Placement of re-nests following predation: are birds managing risk?, Emu: austral ornithology, vol. 116, no. 1, pp. 9-13, doi: 10.1071/MU15064.

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Title Placement of re-nests following predation: are birds managing risk?
Author(s) Beckmann, ChristaORCID iD for Beckmann, Christa
McDonald, Paul G.
Journal name Emu: austral ornithology
Volume number 116
Issue number 1
Start page 9
End page 13
Total pages 5
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Place of publication Clayton, Vic.
Publication date 2016-01
ISSN 1448-5540
Keyword(s) anti-predator behaviour
life history traits
multiple nest-building
nest predation
nest site selection
predation risk
Summary Nest predation is the most important source of reproductive failure for many bird species, thus placing nests in 'safe' locations that minimise predation risk is paramount to maximising fitness. After a nest predation event, some species have been shown to manage the risk of nest predation for subsequent re-nesting attempts by moving to a new location, placing re-nests in areas with increased cover, or changing the height above ground at which the re-nest is placed. The extent to which this is an adaptive behaviour for birds in general is not yet clear, as existing studies are almost exclusively restricted to northern hemisphere species and species that do not breed cooperatively. Here, we examined the re-nesting behaviour of Bell Miners (Manorina melanophrys), a species of honeyeater endemic to Australia that is both multi-brooded and also frequently re-nests soon after nesting failure; females can build up to five nests in a breeding season. We tested if these females managed within-season nest predation risk by changing nest site characteristics (height from ground and distance between nests) between successive nesting attempts. We found that female miners did indeed manage predation risk by reducing the height from the ground at which they placed re-nests following predation events, but contrary to our second prediction we found no difference in distances moved to re-nest after females experienced nest predation or successfully rearing young.
Language eng
DOI 10.1071/MU15064
Field of Research 060201 Behavioural Ecology
050299 Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified
060899 Zoology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, CSIRO Publishing
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