Nest site fidelity in female wild turkey: Potential causes and reproductive consequences

Alexander V. Badyaev, John D. Faust

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

We studied nest site fidelity of female Wild Turkeys in the Arkansas Ozarks during 1992-94. Sixty-nine percent of surviving females returned to breed on their previous breeding areas. Older females had higher return rate compared to younger females. Females did not appear to base their return decision on the previous year nest success. Females that returned to their previous nesting areas laid larger clutches than females that did not return and nests of returned females survived longer than those of females that moved to new areas. Nest site fidelity did not associate with future reproductive success; nest success of females that returned and those that switched breeding areas was similar. Spring dispersal distance and size of prenesting ranges were similar between females that returned and females that moved to new areas between years. Females that nested in habitats that appeared to provide reduced protection from predation relocated in the following year independently of whether their previous nests actually were depredated. Increased social status and experience may account for correlation between habitat quality and breeding site fidelity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-594
Number of pages6
JournalCondor
Volume98
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1996

Keywords

  • Meleagris gallopavo
  • Wild Turkey
  • breeding dispersal
  • nest site fidelity
  • reproductive performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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