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Estimating stage-specific daily survival probabilities of nests when nest age is unknown

The Auk

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https://doi.org/10.1642/0004-8038(2004)121[0134:ESDSPO]2.0.CO;2

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Abstract

Estimation of daily survival probabilities of nests is common in studies of avian populations. Since the introduction of Mayfield's (1961, 1975) estimator, numerous models have been developed to relax Mayfield's assumptions and account for biologically important sources of variation. Stanley (2000) presented a model for estimating stage-specific (e.g. incubation stage, nestling stage) daily survival probabilities of nests that conditions on “nest type” and requires that nests be aged when they are found. Because aging nests typically requires handling the eggs, there may be situations where nests can not or should not be aged and the Stanley (2000) model will be inapplicable. Here, I present a model for estimating stage-specific daily survival probabilities that conditions on nest stage for active nests, thereby obviating the need to age nests when they are found. Specifically, I derive the maximum likelihood function for the model, evaluate the model's performance using Monte Carlo simulations, and provide software for estimating parameters (along with an example). For sample sizes as low as 50 nests, bias was small and confidence interval coverage was close to the nominal rate, especially when a reduced-parameter model was used for estimation.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Estimating stage-specific daily survival probabilities of nests when nest age is unknown
Series title:
The Auk
DOI:
10.1642/0004-8038(2004)121[0134:ESDSPO]2.0.CO;2
Volume:
121
Issue:
1
Year Published:
2004
Language:
English
Publisher:
American Ornithological Society
Contributing office(s):
Fort Collins Science Center
Description:
14 p.
First page:
134
Last page:
147