Nesting synchrony by female red-winged blackbirds: effects on predation and breeding success

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61 Scopus citations


Over three seasons, 37% of all Agelaius phoeniceus nests produced at least one fledgling. Over 77% that failed were destroyed by predators. Nests in all 3 yr were clumped in time, with 50% of the nests being started in just 16% of the season. Temporal proximity of other nests was positively associated with the number of chicks fledged. The probability of avoiding predation increased with number of temporal neighbors even with date of first egg and female age controlled in a multivariate analysis. Clutch size was associated only with settlement date and not number of temporal neighbors nor date of first egg. Breeding earlier by females resulted in high total success for some measures in some seasons, but early nests failed sooner and more frequently. Returning females bred earlier than new females, and even though their first nests were more likely to fail, they typically renested within the peak of nesting or, if their first nest succeeded, sometimes started a second brood before the end of the season. New females to the study area started nests late, but tended to do so within the peak of nesting thereby improving their chances of success. -from Author

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2284-2294
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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