Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (1.9 MB)

Title: Relationships of surrounding riparian habitat to nest-box use and reproductive outcome in House Wrens

Author: Finch, Deborah M.;

Date: 1989

Source: The Condor. 91: 848-859.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: I assessed relationships among habitat structure, nest-site selection, and reproductive outcome of House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon) by establishing three nest-box grids in riparian woodlands in southeastern Wyoming. Over a 3-year period, 37% of the boxes contained House Wren nests; 20% contained unused nests built by male House Wrens; and 42% were never used by wrens. Direct discriminant analyses separated three box-use groups (unused, 1-year use, 2- to 3-year use) and three nesting outcome possibilities (failure all years, 1-year success, 2- to 3-year success) along gradients of habitat cover and foliage density. Compared with unused boxes, those selected repeatedly by House Wrens were located in habitats with sparser understories. Similarly, wrens were more likely to fledge offspring from boxes chosen in sparsely foliated habitats. I conclude that characteristics of the surrounding habitat influenced wren reproductive outcome and suggest that boxes in open habitats were actively selected based on their higher probability of success. Predation was the major cause of nesting failure. By nesting in open habitats, House Wrens may be more adept at detecting and deflecting cavity-nest intruders before nests are discovered and destroyed.

Keywords: House Wren, dummy nests, foliage density, habitat structure, nest-box use, nesting outcome, predation risk, riparian woodlands, secondary cavity-nesting birds

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)



Finch, Deborah M. 1989. Relationships of surrounding riparian habitat to nest-box use and reproductive outcome in House Wrens. The Condor. 91: 848-859.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.