Undergraduate Student Work


Open Access Undergraduate Student Work

Type of Work

Poster Presentation


Previous research had been done in 2011 and 2012 regarding bird nest survival rates in the Cedar River Natural Resource Area in Washburn, IA. Further analysis of bird nest survival rates was done in this study to research how nest age, calendar date, soil type, and vegetation type influence the success or failure of these nests. New nests were identified in the prairie plots of the Cedar River Natural Resource Area and added to the previous sample size from the original study. A sample size of 97 bird nests total and 67 Dickcissel nests –SPAM (Spiza Americana) were used. The new nests were checked every 3-4 days and a fail or success was noted. The data was then analyzed using R statistical analysis to calculate correct logistic exposure models. The results for all nests showed that success was influenced by the nest age. A new nest had a 10% lower chance of success than an older nest. For all nests, the calendar date with which the nest was laid also influenced the successfulness. Nests laid in early may had a higher chance of surviving than nests laid in late season. Soil type and vegetation effects differed from all nests and the Dickcissel nest samples. However, for both sample sizes there was a much higher chance of success in 2011 than 2012 with the nests in the biomass vegetation mix having a better chance of survival than only grass.

Date of Work



Department of Biology


Tallgrass Prairie Center


UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa


©2014 Libby Torresani, Stephanie Paape, Dr. Mark Myers



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