Nesting phenology and productivity of birds in the White and Inyo Mountains, California, as assessed with nest-boxes
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Nest-boxes were monitored from 1988 to 1992 on 5 grids in the pinyon-juniper (Pinus-Juniperus) woodlands of the White and Inyo Mountains, California, to determine breeding phenology and productivity of cavity-nesting birds, and characteristics of used and non-used nest-boxes. We found a total of 112 nests of 6 species. Bewick's Wrens (Thryomanes bewickii; 64 nests), Mountain Chickadees (Poecile gambeli; 18), Ash-throated Flycatchers (Myiarchus cinerascens; 12), and Juniper Titmice (Baeolophus ridgwayi; 11) were the most common species utilizing the boxes. Nest phenology and numbers of young were similar to values reported elsewhere in the literature for the species, although nesting success for Mountain Chickadees appeared lower in our study. Chickadees were associated with relatively dense, mature vegetation on southern slopes. Juniper Titmice used areas with tall juniper shrubs and generally sparse vegetation. Bewick's Wrens used areas with short trees, sparse vegetation, and many stumps. Nest-boxes were underutilized (< 15% use) by most species relative to their availability and relative to detected abundances of the species. We suggest that nest-boxes can provide valuable breeding biology information and can potentially increase the productivity of rare and cavity-limited species.
Western North American Naturalist
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Hall, L. S., & Morrison, M. L.
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