Nesting Time Impact on 'Ae'o Nest Depredation

IMG_0087.JPG
img-1331_1_orig.jpg

In this study we found that stilts preferred shorter vegetation and preferred to nest in Pickleweed (Batis maritima) and Water Hyssop (Bacopa monnieri) rather than other available plant species. However, nest-site characteristics, such as vegetation height and distance to water, did not have an impact on depredation risk. Early nests had a higher chance of survival than late nests, and the number of depredated nests peaked later in the nesting season. Introduced mammals were the primary nest predators. Increasing predator control later in the Hawaiian Stilt nesting season, particularly for mammalian predators, may increase nest survival of later nesters. Our study suggests that, despite longer nesting seasons and year-round occupation of wetlands, early nesters in subtropical regions may have higher nest survival than late nesters, similar to trends observed in temperate regions.