A research team from the Department of Biology Education scientifically discovered the influence of predators on bird nests for the first time in the world. The achievement was published in Scientific Reports, a sister journal of the world-renowned science journal, Nature.
The department made some artificial nests for passerines and observed baby and adult birds’ behaviors in response to jay birds, which are predatory to passerines. It was found that, after they got attacked by predators, young passerines leave their nests in about 17 days, which is 2~3 days earlier than their average departure day. Also, parent passerines reduced the number of trips obtaining and bringing food to babies while investing more time in searching for predators. Since one day for young passerines is roughly equivalent to one year for humans early departure from the nest and less nurtured passerines may not live long in nature.
Also, by using two kinds of artificial nests they found that the entrance size of cavities affects predators’ attack; the bigger the size of the entrance, the easier the nest can be attacked. Therefore, they suggested making small nest entrances according to types of birds in order to enhance their survival rate. Dr. Yoon Jong-min, the lead author of the study, said that “This research is meaningful in that it did an experiment which verifies the hypothesis about factors of prey and strategies for birds in case of nest predation risk.”
To read the full article published in the journal, visit http://www.nature.com/articles/srep31989.
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