Using continuous video to monitor patterns of nest defense and incubation behavior in northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus)
Burnam, Jonathan Singletary
MetadataShow full item record
The incubation rhythms and nest defense patterns of attending northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus; hereafter bobwhite) are poorly understood, largely due to a historical inability to directly monitor nests. Using continuous-recording, near-infrared cameras, we monitored incubation among bobwhites (118 nests randomly selected from a sample of 790 video-monitored nests), and viewed all nest depredations (n=241) to evaluate the parental, daily, and seasonal correlates that most contribute to patterns of nest recess, attendance, and nest defense in the bobwhite. We found that nest recess length decreased with clutch age and increased as the nesting season progressed. Predator species was the most influential factor in determining nest defense, and there was little difference between male and female bobwhites in nest attendance or defense patterns.