Nesting Mortality of Mourning Doves in Central Texas

Mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) nests were located on the Texas A&M University Campus from February-October 1981. Mortality differed between the various stages of the nesting cycle, and in different months within each stage. The number of days in which wind speed exceeded 27.6 km/h (15 kts) each month explained 34% of the variability (P =0.10) associated with total nesting mortality. Mean monthly temperature was positively correlated (P < 0.10) with mortality occurring during the 1st nestling week and negatively correlated during the 2nd week after hatching. Loss of nestlings was correlated (P < 0.05) with an index to blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata) production and total monthly rainfall (P =0.10).

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