ESR 11:189-194 (2010)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00278

Nest success and parental investment in the Critically Endangered Maui parrotbill Pseudonestor xanthophrys with implications for recovery

C. Dustin Becker1,*, Hanna L. Mounce1, Tonya A. Rassmussen1,3, Anna Rauch-Sasseen1,4, Kirsty J. Swinnerton1,5, David L. Leonard2

1Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project, Makawao, Hawaii, USA
2Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
3Present address: 863 Mockingbird Dr., College Place, Washington 99324, USA
4Present address: 422 Ocean Blvd. North, Longbranch, New Jersey 07740, USA
5Present address: Island Conservation Canada, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

ABSTRACT: The Critically Endangered (IUCN) Maui parrotbill Pseudonestor xanthophrys, an endemic Hawaiian honeycreeper, is restricted to a single population of about 500 individuals. During 3 breeding seasons (2006 to 2008) we found and monitored 17 Maui parrotbill nests from 13 pairs. Eggs and incubating females were confirmed for 12 of the nests, but only 4 fledged successfully. Severe weather led to nest abandonment in 5 cases. Two nests were depredated, and 1 nest had an egg that failed to hatch. Three pairs renested after failures. We used logistic linear regression and ANOVA to evaluate 300 h of observations to assess the effects of parental investment behavior and weather on nest fate. Female time incubating, a significant factor explaining nest fate, did not differ by time of day, but averaged 12 min h–1 less for failed than for successful nests. Male provisioning rates to adult females and chick feeding rates by parents were also significantly related to nest success. Male vocalizations near the nest did not differ by nest fate. Establishment of a second population is a key step in the recovery of Maui parrotbills, and a small captive population has been established. Although limited, our data suggest that collection of Maui parrotbill eggs and/or nestlings up to 1 wk old from nests for captive rearing, especially in advance of severe winter storms, would have minimal effects on the population.


KEY WORDS: Maui parrotbill · Avian ecology · Parental investment · Endangered birds


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Cite this article as: Becker CD, Mounce HL, Rassmussen TA, Rauch-Sasseen A, Swinnerton KJ, Leonard DL (2010) Nest success and parental investment in the Critically Endangered Maui parrotbill Pseudonestor xanthophrys with implications for recovery. Endang Species Res 11:189-194. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00278

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