Title

Relationships Between Habitat and Snag Characteristics and the Reproductive Success of the Brown-headed Nuthatch (Sitta pusilla) in Eastern Texas.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2004

Abstract

Habitat use and reproductive success of the Brown-headed Nuthatch (Sitta pusilla Latham) were studied in East Texas during the 2001-2002 breeding seasons. We compared nest cavity selection at used and randomly selected non-used areas. Height of nest trees, midstory density, and percent leaf litter were negatively correlated with nest site selection. Brown-headed Nuthatches showed a strong preference for short snags; yet placed their nest cavity entrances near the top ofthe snags. While nuthatches may be selecting for habitats with little or no midstory density, percent of leaf litter in the nest sites is most likely the consequence of frequent burning. No significant differences among habitat variables and snag characteristics were found between successful and failed nest cavities. Additionally, no habitat variables were correlated with the number of chicks fledged per nest. Predation was the major cause of nest failure in this study.

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