White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were videotaped depredating four songbird nests in grassland habitats in southeastern and northcentral North Dakota, 1996-1999. Deer ate two Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis), two grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), one clay-colored sparrow (Spizella pallida), one red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) and three brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) nestlings. Deer removed nestlings quickly (5-19 sec/nest) at night (22:00 to 05:17 Central Daylight Time) and left no evidence of predation. Although probably opportunistic, deer predations clearly were deliberate and likely are more common than generally believed.
|Title||White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) predation on grassland songbird nestlings|
|Authors||Pamela J. Pietz, Diane A. Granfors|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||American Midland Naturalist|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center|