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Use of radio-telemetry to reduce bias in nest searching

January 1, 2005

We used traditional searching, as well as radio-telemetry, to find 125 Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina) nests during 1994–1996 at the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia, USA. We compared daily nest survival rates for 66 nests of radio-marked birds with 59 nests of birds found through systematic searching. By using radio-telemetry, we found Wood Thrush nests in higher elevation pine habitats, in addition to the more usual hardwood forests with moist soils. We found nests of radio-marked birds farther from streams than nests found by systematic searching. Thirty-two percent of radio-marked birds' nests were found at the tops of slopes, compared to 15% of the nests found by traditional searching. In addition, radio-marked birds generally moved up-slope for re-nesting attempts. Although the distribution of nests found with telemetry and searching varied, daily nest survival did not vary between the two groups. Radio-telemetry provided new information about Wood Thrush nesting habitats. We believe radio-telemetry can be a valuable addition to traditional searching techniques; it has the potential to provide a sample of nests free from a priori habitat biases.

Publication Year 2005
Title Use of radio-telemetry to reduce bias in nest searching
DOI 10.1648/0273-8570-76.3.274
Authors Larkin A. Powell, J. D. Lang, David G. Krementz, Michael J. Conroy
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Field Ornithology
Index ID 5224459
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Patuxent Wildlife Research Center