Nest-site selection and nesting success of Wood Thrushes

Jeffrey P. Hoover, Margaret C. Brittingham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We characterized nest sites and compared specific nest-site characteristics to nesting success for Wood Thrushes (Hylocichla mustelina) nesting in southeastern Pennsylvania in 1991. We determined if nests were placed in areas that differed from randomly selected points within a given tract of forest and compared specific nest-site characteristics for successful nests (those that produced at least one fledgling) and nests that failed because of predation. Wood Thrushes selected nest sites non-randomly within a tract of forest, and female Wood Thrushes built nests in areas that had a higher density of trees, higher canopy, higher density of Shrubs, and higher average shrub height than randomly selected points. Specific nest-site characteristics had little effect on the ultimate success or failure of nests. The only specific nest-site characteristic included in a stepwise logistic regression model comparing successful and failed nesting attempts was the concealment of the nest from above and below. The average concealment of successful nests was greater than unsuccessful nests, but the model that included nest concealment did not give good fit to the data. Rather, a landscape-level feature, size of forest tract, had the greatest influence on the success and failure of nests for Wood Thrushes in this region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-383
Number of pages9
JournalWilson Bulletin
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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