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Habitat Establishment, Enhancement and Management for Forest and Grassland Birds in Illinois

Nest Predation

Nest predation is a serious problem for many bird species.12 In Illinois, nest predators may destroy as many as 80% of all nests for some species of woodland birds.11 Many potential nest predators, such as foxes, raccoons, skunks, opossums, jays and crows are attracted to small woodlots or travel along woody edges. These native predators, plus domestic and feral house cats13, destroy the nests or young of birds breeding in small woodlots, narrow strips of nesting habitat, and near edges of larger forests.14,15

Edge-enhanced nest predation has been recorded to extend more than 110 yards (100 meters) into some forests for exposed artificial ground nests.14 In grasslands, the impact of nest predation near woody edges has been shown to extend at least 50-55 yards (45-50 meters) into some habitat blocks.16

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