Differences in feeding rates and reproductive success of House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon) between a disturbed and natural site

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The Ohio State University

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Urbanization is a major issue confronting species around the world and causing them to adapt, move, or die because of loss of habitat or food source. House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon) are small, cavity nesting, migrating, insectivorous birds common across the Americas. We hypothesized that the presence of humans and a disturbed habitat would cause fewer and smaller young to be raised than at an undisturbed area. We placed 50 Wren boxes in a woods bordered by a tall grass prairie and 50 boxes in a golf course, representing two levels of human disturbance. We checked these boxes three times a week from mid-April through mid-August and recorded their contents. On the fourth and twelfth days after hatching, we would observe how many times the adults visited the box. The laying date was earlier at the woods than the golf course, but birds at the golf course had larger clutches than those at the woods after controlling for laying date. Feeding rates did not vary between the natural area and the golf course. Our data shows that House Wrens are able to exploit various habitats and are tolerant of human disturbance.


Lima Undergraduate Research Forum 1st Place


reproductive success, House Wren, feeding rates, human disturbance, fledgling