We used artificial bird nests to examine the relative effects of local habitat features and the surrounding landscape on the probability of songbird nest depredation in floodplain forests of the Upper Mississippi River. We found that the probability of depredation increased with size of floodplain forest plots. In small plots, the probability of depredation tended to increase away from the forest edge. Small patches of floodplain forest within a large river system can provide valuable nesting habitat for songbirds. We suggest that depredation pressure may be lower due to isolation effects. The probability of nest depredation increased with increasing canopy cover surrounding the nest tree and decreasing cover around the nest. Managers seeking to discourage nest predators in floodplain forests should consider managing for habitats that supply dense cover for nest concealment and an open tree canopy.
Additional publication details
Patterns of artificial nest depredation in a large floodplain forest