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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #355256

Research Project: Management Technologies for Conservation of Western Rangelands

Location: Range Management Research

Title: Factors associated with nest survival of Black-throated Sparrows, desert-breeding nest-site generalists.

Author
item KOZMA, JEFFREY - Us Geological Survey (USGS)
item Burkett, Laura
item KROLL, ANDREW - Weyerhaeuser Company
item THORNTON, JAMIE - Weyerhaeuser Company
item MATHEWS, NANCY - Us Geological Survey (USGS)

Submitted to: Journal Of Field Ornithology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/26/2017
Publication Date: 9/20/2017
Citation: Kozma, J.M., Burkett, L.M., Kroll, A.J., Thornton, J., Mathews, N.E. 2017. Factors associated with nest survival of Black-throated Sparrows, desert-breeding nest-site generalists. Journal of Field Ornithology. 88(3):274-287. https://doi.org/10.1111/jofo.12209.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jofo.12209

Interpretive Summary: Factors associated with black-throated sparrow daily nest survival rates were investigated. Predation was the primary source of nest failure. Vegetation cover over nests and shrub densities within 5 m of nests was negatively associated with nest survival (as nest cover and shrub density increased, daily nest survival decreased). Daily nest survival rate was higher earlier in the breeding season and decreased later in the breeding season.

Technical Abstract: Black-throated Sparrows (Amphispiza bilineata) are common breeding birds throughout thedesert regions of North America and can be considered nest-site generalists. Information about how spatial(e.g., vegetation) and temporal factors in'uence nest survival of these sparrows is lacking throughout their range. Our objective was to examine the spatial and temporal factors associated with nest survival of Black-throated Sparrows at the nest and nest-patch scales in the predator-rich environment of the northern Chihuahuan Desert of New Mexico. We used a logistic-exposure model 't within a Bayesian framework to model the daily survival probability of Black-throated Sparrow nests. Predation was the leading cause of nest failure, accounting for 86% of failed nests. We found evidence of negative associations between nest survival and both vegetative cover above nests and shrub density within 5 m of nests. We found no support for other habitat covariates, but did 'nd strong evidence that daily survival rate was higher earlier in the breeding season and during the egg-laying stage. A decline in nest survival later in the breeding period may be due to increased predator activity due to warmer ambient temperatures, whereas lower survival during the incubation and nestling stages could be a result of increased activity at nests. A generalist approach to nest-site selection may be an adaptive response to the presence of a diverse assemblage of nest predators that results in the reduced in'uence of spatial factors on nest survival for Black-throated Sparrows.