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Nest box use and productivity of great crested flycatchers in prescribed-burned longleaf pine forests

Journal of Field Ornithology

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Abstract

Managing for the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis) on federal lands requires burning large tracts of mature pine forests every 3-5 yr. Many cavity trees that serve as potential nest sites for primary and secondary hole-nesting birds are destroyed by fire. We assessed the efficacy of a nest box program for the Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus) at Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge, an area intensively managed for Red-cockaded Woodpeckers. During 1996-1998, we installed and monitored 330 (30 in each of 11 sites) nest boxes in mature (>60 yr) longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) tracts that were burned either in April-June (warm season) or December-March (cool season). Prescribed-burned sites were nearly devoid of snags; we estimated only 0.8/ ha in cool-season burns and 1.7/ha in warm-season burns. Great Crested Flycatchers built nests in 20% of the boxes available to them. Clutch sizes were larger in warm-season burns than in cool-season burns, but fledging success (fledglings/nest hatching -1 egg) was lower. Twenty-two of 59 Great Crested Flycatcher nests were depredated and the proportions in each burn class were similar. We recommend the installation of nest boxes for Great Crested Flycatchers in prescribed-burned pine forests, but additional research is needed in these habitats on nest depredation rates and causes.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Nest box use and productivity of great crested flycatchers in prescribed-burned longleaf pine forests
Series title:
Journal of Field Ornithology
Volume
71
Issue:
1
Year Published:
2000
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description:
147-152
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Field Ornithology
First page:
147
Last page:
152
Number of Pages:
6