Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

More predators doesn't equal more danger for urban bird nest, study finds

Date:
September 27, 2010
Source:
Ohio State University
Summary:
While birds living in urban areas face more predators than do those in rural areas, that doesn't mean urban birds face more danger from nest robbers. A six-year study conducted in 19 central Ohio forests from 2004 to 2009 found that, as expected, rural areas that had higher numbers of nest predators such as raccoons, domestic cats and crows, also showed lower rates of nest survival.

While birds living in urban areas face more predators than do those in rural areas, that doesn't mean urban birds face more danger from nest robbers.

Related Articles


A six-year study conducted in 19 central Ohio forests from 2004 to 2009 found that, as expected, rural areas that had higher numbers of nest predators such as raccoons, domestic cats, and crows, also showed lower rates of nest survival.

But there was no relation between the number of predators and nest survival in more urbanized areas.

Researchers believe that's because nest predators in urban areas have access to more human-provided food, making them less likely to prey on nests.

"We have seen the numbers of sensitive bird species decline in urbanized areas at the same time that predators such as raccoons and domestic cats have increased, so it is natural to try to link the two," said Amanda Rodewald, first author of the study and professor of wildlife ecology at Ohio State University's School of Environment and Natural Resources.

"But we found that there isn't such a link in urban areas. Having more predators is bad news for birds in rural areas, but not necessarily for those in urban areas. We believe that predators are taking advantage of other sources of food in cites, such as trash cans and birdfeeders."

Rodewald's co-authors included Laura Kearns, who is a graduate student in the School of Environmental and Natural Resources, and Daniel Shustack, a recent doctoral graduate. The research was recently published online in the journal Ecological Applications, and will appear in a future print edition.

Rodewald and her co-authors monitored 2,942 nests located in 19 forests, which were rated on a scale from most urban to most rural. These nests were from five different songbird species.

During three years of the study, the researchers also took time-lapse video recordings, day and night, of some nests in order to determine predator species. As a result, 67 nest attacks were recorded and 18 predator species were identified. Some of the predator species included red-tailed hawk, raccoon, barred owl, red squirrel and domestic cat.

Rodewald and her colleagues also counted the number of nest predators at each study site and compared it to the daily nest survival rate for each year of the study.

Results showed a strong relation between predator abundance and nest survival rate within rural forests -- the more predators there were, the lower the nest survival rate. However, there was no relation between the number of predators and nest survival for urban forests.

For example, an increase in predator numbers from one to 20 reduced the daily nest survival rate by 22 percent in rural landscapes, but actually slightly increased survival in urban landscapes.

"We think that the reason for the lack of connection between predator and prey within urban landscapes is due to the amount of food provided by humans in urban areas," said Rodewald.

Previous studies by the researchers showed that, compared to rural areas, urban landscapes supplied greater numbers of birdfeeders, abundant fruiting exotic plants and trash receptacles, all of which are appealing to predators such as raccoons and crows.

"The predator-prey relationship is well established in rural areas," said Rodewald. "But that relationship changed completely in our urban areas."

The research was funded by the grants from the National Science Foundation, Ohio Division of Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, and the OSU Swank Program in Rural-Urban Policy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University. The original article was written by Jessica Orwig. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Amanda Rodewald, Laura Kearns, Daniel Shustack. Anthropogenic resource subsidies decouple predator-prey relationships. Ecological Applications, 2010; 100831134952053 DOI: 10.1890/10-0863.1

Cite This Page:

Ohio State University. "More predators doesn't equal more danger for urban bird nest, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100923125117.htm>.
Ohio State University. (2010, September 27). More predators doesn't equal more danger for urban bird nest, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100923125117.htm
Ohio State University. "More predators doesn't equal more danger for urban bird nest, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100923125117.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) — Take a stab at this -- stunt video shows a lamb chop's journey from an east London restaurant over 30 kilometers into space. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins