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I examined abundance, location, and success of avian nests from June through August, 1985-87, in small (1 ha) even-aged aspen (Populus spp.) stands on a 240-ha study area managed as ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) habitat in central Pennsylvania. Ninety-five nests of 14 species, mainly rufous-sided towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus) (28.4%) and gray catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) (24.2%), were located. Observed versus expected numbers of total nests (all species combined) and those of towhees and catbirds differed (P < 0.05) among stands of 3 age classes; the majority of total (91.6%), towhee (92.3%), and catbird (100%) nests was found in stands ≤10 years old. Observed versus expected numbers of both total and towhee nests did not differ (P > 0.05) in relation to distance from an edge. However, observed numbers of catbird nests varied (P < 0.05) from what I expected with respect to distance from an edge; most (95.7%) were located ≥10 m from an edge. Young were fledged at 52.6% of the total nests. Nesting success was independent (P > 0.05) of stand age and distance from an edge but was inversely related (P < 0.05) to height of nests. Higher nests (>0.5 m above ground level) were more susceptible than lower nests (≤0.5 m) to predators.
The Journal of Wildlife Management © 1991 Wiley