In colonial seabirds, nesting density, egg-laying date and nest microhabitat affect the probability of eggs being taken by avian predators. Jungle Crows (Corvus macrorhynchos) are dominant predators of eggs of Black-tailed Gulls (Larus crassirostris). Factors affecting the probability of gulls allowing the crows to attack their nests or depredate their eggs and the probability of eggs being taken were studied by direct observation and egg census, respectively. The effect of vegetation heights, position in the colony, egg-laying date and neighbour nests on the probability of eggs being taken were examined at multiple spatial scales. Gull nests were depredated more easily by larger groups of crows. Nests in peripheral areas (<4 m from the edge of the colony) were also depredated more easily by the crows walking on the ground. Although the nests where eggs were laid early in the season were depredated more frequently, such nests highly synchronised in egg laying within a <2-m radius were less likely to be depredated than less-synchronised nests. The nests in tall vegetation were less likely to be depredated though those having neighbour nests in tall vegetation were not. The number of neighbour nests did not affect the probability of eggs being taken. Antipredation effects of nesting microhabitats vary with spatial scales at which the crows search and attack the nests of gulls.
- Habitat selection
- Spatial scale
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics