nesting behavior


Summary: Animal behavior associated with the nest; includes construction, effects of size and material; behavior of the adult during the nesting period and the effect of the nest on the behavior of the young.

Top Publications

  1. Müller M, Roelofs Y, Erikstad K, Groothuis T. Maternal androgens increase sibling aggression, dominance, and competitive ability in the siblicidal black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla). PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e47763 pubmed publisher
  2. Moreno Rueda G, Redondo T, Trenzado C, Sanz A, Zúñiga J. Oxidative stress mediates physiological costs of begging in magpie (Pica pica) nestlings. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e40367 pubmed publisher
    ..Consequently, we predict that soliciting offspring incur a cost in terms of oxidative stress, and growth rate and immune response (processes that generate pro-oxidants substances) are reduced in order to maintain oxidative balance...
  3. Loukola O, Seppänen J, Krams I, Torvinen S, Forsman J. Observed fitness may affect niche overlap in competing species via selective social information use. Am Nat. 2013;182:474-83 pubmed publisher
    ..In contrast with the current theory of species coexistence, overlap between realized niches of species could dynamically increase or decrease depending on the observed success of surrounding individuals...
  4. Gaskill B, Gordon C, Pajor E, Lucas J, Davis J, Garner J. Impact of nesting material on mouse body temperature and physiology. Physiol Behav. 2013;110-111:87-95 pubmed publisher
  5. Edworthy A, Wiebe K, Martin K. Survival analysis of a critical resource for cavity-nesting communities: patterns of tree cavity longevity. Ecol Appl. 2012;22:1733-42 pubmed
  6. Dyke G, Vremir M, Kaiser G, Naish D. A drowned Mesozoic bird breeding colony from the Late Cretaceous of Transylvania. Naturwissenschaften. 2012;99:435-42 pubmed publisher
    ..Such a large concentration of breeding birds suggests aquatic feeding in this species, augments our understanding of enantiornithine biology and shows that colonial nesting was not unique to crown birds. ..
  7. Gaskill B, Gordon C, Pajor E, Lucas J, Davis J, Garner J. Heat or insulation: behavioral titration of mouse preference for warmth or access to a nest. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e32799 pubmed publisher
    ..b>Nesting behavior should change with temperature and material, and the choice between nesting or thermotaxis (movement in ..
  8. Perrault J, Miller D, Eads E, Johnson C, Merrill A, Thompson L, et al. Maternal health status correlates with nest success of leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) from Florida. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e31841 pubmed publisher
  9. van de Crommenacker J, Komdeur J, Richardson D. Assessing the cost of helping: the roles of body condition and oxidative balance in the Seychelles warbler (Acrocephalus sechellensis). PLoS ONE. 2011;6:e26423 pubmed publisher
    ..The results imply that an individuals' oxidative balance may be influenced by factors related to reproduction, which can differ with sex and--within cooperative breeding systems--social status. ..

More Information


  1. Spottiswoode C, Koorevaar J. A stab in the dark: chick killing by brood parasitic honeyguides. Biol Lett. 2012;8:241-4 pubmed publisher
    ..Attack time of 1-5 min was sufficient to cause host death, which took from 9 min to over 7 h from first attack. Honeyguides also bit unhatched eggs and human hands, but only rarely bit the host parents feeding them. ..
  2. Stroeymeyt N, Franks N, Giurfa M. Knowledgeable individuals lead collective decisions in ants. J Exp Biol. 2011;214:3046-54 pubmed publisher
    ..Animal groups may instead benefit from well-informed, knowledgeable individuals acting as leaders in decisions...
  3. Smith P, Wilson S. Intraseasonal patterns in shorebird nest survival are related to nest age and defence behaviour. Oecologia. 2010;163:613-24 pubmed publisher
  4. Shillinger G, Palacios D, Bailey H, Bograd S, Swithenbank A, Gaspar P, et al. Persistent leatherback turtle migrations present opportunities for conservation. PLoS Biol. 2008;6:e171 pubmed publisher
    ..We identify high seas locations for focusing future conservation efforts within the leatherback dispersal zone in the South Pacific Gyre. ..
  5. Lima S. Predators and the breeding bird: behavioral and reproductive flexibility under the risk of predation. Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc. 2009;84:485-513 pubmed publisher
    ..The topics highlighted herein are all in need more empirical attention, and more experimental field work whenever feasible. ..
  6. O Dwyer T, Ackerman A, Nevitt G. Examining the development of individual recognition in a burrow-nesting procellariiform, the Leach's storm-petrel. J Exp Biol. 2008;211:337-40 pubmed publisher
  7. Sousa J, Barata A, Sousa C, Casanova C, Vicente L. Chimpanzee oil-palm use in southern Cantanhez National Park, Guinea-Bissau. Am J Primatol. 2011;73:485-97 pubmed publisher
    ..The main aims of this study were to evaluate chimpanzee nesting behavior, define trends of habitat use, and estimate chimpanzee density in four separate forests by applying the ..
  8. Müller W, Dijkstra C, Groothuis T. Maternal yolk androgens stimulate territorial behaviour in black-headed gull chicks. Biol Lett. 2009;5:586-8 pubmed publisher
  9. Katzav Gozansky T, Boulay R, Ionescu Hirsh A, Hefetz A. Nest volatiles as modulators of nestmate recognition in the ant Camponotus fellah. J Insect Physiol. 2008;54:378-85 pubmed
    ..Cuticular hydrocarbon profiles were not affected by exposure to nest volatiles, suggesting that the latter either constitute part of the recognition cues or affect worker behavior via a different, as yet elusive mechanism. ..
  10. Hinde C, Johnstone R, Kilner R. Parent-offspring conflict and coadaptation. Science. 2010;327:1373-6 pubmed publisher
    ..Parent-offspring conflict may thus be responsible for the selective forces that generate parent-offspring coadaptation. ..
  11. Aviles J, Vikan J, Fossøy F, Antonov A, Moksnes A, Røskaft E, et al. Avian colour perception predicts behavioural responses to experimental brood parasitism in chaffinches. J Evol Biol. 2010;23:293-301 pubmed publisher
    ..These results confirm that colour differences of the eggs as perceived by birds are important integral parts of a matching signal used by chaffinch hosts. ..
  12. Harrison F, Barta Z, Cuthill I, Szekely T. How is sexual conflict over parental care resolved? A meta-analysis. J Evol Biol. 2009;22:1800-12 pubmed publisher
    ..We present a meta-analysis of 54 such studies, and conclude that the mean response was indeed partial compensation. Males and females responded differently and this was in part mediated by the type of manipulation used. ..
  13. de Valpine P, Eadie J. Conspecific brood parasitism and population dynamics. Am Nat. 2008;172:547-62 pubmed publisher
  14. Kim S, Torres R, Drummond H. Simultaneous positive and negative density-dependent dispersal in a colonial bird species. Ecology. 2009;90:230-9 pubmed
  15. Bos N, Grinsted L, Holman L. Wax on, wax off: nest soil facilitates indirect transfer of recognition cues between ant nestmates. PLoS ONE. 2011;6:e19435 pubmed publisher
    ..These results demonstrate that cuticular hydrocarbons deposited on the nest soil are important in creating uniformity in the odor label and may also contribute to the template. ..
  16. Rabeling C, Verhaagh M, Engels W. Comparative study of nest architecture and colony structure of the fungus-growing ants, Mycocepurus goeldii and M. smithii. J Insect Sci. 2007;7:40 pubmed publisher
    ..Larvae and pupae were unequally distributed throughout the nest, but were only located in chambers containing a garden. Their location in the chamber was dependent upon the developmental state of the fungus garden. ..
  17. Spottiswoode C, Stevens M. Visual modeling shows that avian host parents use multiple visual cues in rejecting parasitic eggs. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010;107:8672-6 pubmed publisher
  18. Mennerat A. Blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) respond to an experimental change in the aromatic plant odour composition of their nest. Behav Processes. 2008;79:189-91 pubmed publisher
    ..Nest composition treatment had no effect on the time spent in the nest. This study demonstrates that free-ranging blue tits detect changes in nest odour from outside the nest cavity. ..
  19. Grim T, Samaš P, Moskát C, Kleven O, Honza M, Moksnes A, et al. Constraints on host choice: why do parasitic birds rarely exploit some common potential hosts?. J Anim Ecol. 2011;80:508-18 pubmed publisher
    ..In the present study, comparative and experimental procedures are integrated, which represent a novel approach that should prove useful for the understanding of interspecific ecological relationships in general...
  20. Aviles J, Vikan J, Fossøy F, Antonov A, Moksnes A, Røskaft E, et al. The common cuckoo Cuculus canorus is not locally adapted to its reed warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus host. J Evol Biol. 2011;24:314-25 pubmed publisher
  21. van Zweden J, Dreier S, d Ettorre P. Disentangling environmental and heritable nestmate recognition cues in a carpenter ant. J Insect Physiol. 2009;55:158-63 pubmed publisher
    ..Our results suggest that heritable cues of workers are the dominant factor influencing nestmate discrimination in these carpenter ants and highlight the importance of colony kin structure for the evolution of eusociality. ..
  22. Cassey P, Honza M, Grim T, Hauber M. The modelling of avian visual perception predicts behavioural rejection responses to foreign egg colours. Biol Lett. 2008;4:515-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Biologically realistic sensory models provide an important tool for relating variability of behavioural responses to perceived phenotypic variation. ..
  23. Ardia D, Pérez J, Chad E, Voss M, Clotfelter E. Temperature and life history: experimental heating leads female tree swallows to modulate egg temperature and incubation behaviour. J Anim Ecol. 2009;78:4-13 pubmed publisher
    ..These results indicate that studies investigating the role of energetics in driving reproductive investment in intermittent incubators should consider egg temperature and individual variation more explicitly...
  24. Wright L, Hoblyn R, Green R, Bowden C, Mallord J, Sutherland W, et al. Importance of climatic and environmental change in the demography of a multi-brooded passerine, the woodlark Lullula arborea. J Anim Ecol. 2009;78:1191-202 pubmed publisher
    ..We suggest that understanding effects of both climate and habitat change on populations is essential in predictive population modelling. ..
  25. Stoddard M, Stevens M. Avian vision and the evolution of egg color mimicry in the common cuckoo. Evolution. 2011;65:2004-13 pubmed publisher
    ..Finally, cuckoos with better background color mimicry also have better pattern mimicry. Our findings reveal new information about egg mimicry that would be impossible to derive by the human eye...
  26. Hozumi S, Kudo K, Zucchi R. Promotion of thermoregulatory insulation in nests of neotropical wasps by building extra-combs with empty cells. Neotrop Entomol. 2008;37:159-66 pubmed
    ..In addition, such a high temperature may influence the performance of adult wasps. ..
  27. van Zweden J, Brask J, Christensen J, Boomsma J, Linksvayer T, d Ettorre P. Blending of heritable recognition cues among ant nestmates creates distinct colony gestalt odours but prevents within-colony nepotism. J Evol Biol. 2010;23:1498-508 pubmed publisher
  28. Soler J, Vivaldi M, Møller A. Geographic distribution of suitable hosts explains the evolution of specialized gentes in the European cuckoo Cuculus canorus. BMC Evol Biol. 2009;9:88 pubmed publisher
    ..These results are consistent with the hypothesis that resource (i.e., host) predictability explains the evolution of host races and species of parasites. ..
  29. Rodewald A, Kearns L, Shustack D. Anthropogenic resource subsidies decouple predator-prey relationships. Ecol Appl. 2011;21:936-43 pubmed
    ..In this way, human drivers can alter, and completely disarticulate, relationships among species that are well established in more natural systems. ..
  30. van de Crommenacker J, Komdeur J, Burke T, Richardson D. Spatio-temporal variation in territory quality and oxidative status: a natural experiment in the Seychelles warbler (Acrocephalus sechellensis). J Anim Ecol. 2011;80:668-80 pubmed publisher
    ..6. Our results indicate that the oxidative stress balance of an individual is sensitive to relatively short-term changes in territory quality, which may have consequences for the birds' fitness. ..
  31. Low M, Arlt D, Eggers S, Pärt T. Habitat-specific differences in adult survival rates and its links to parental workload and on-nest predation. J Anim Ecol. 2010;79:214-24 pubmed publisher
    ..Furthermore, it suggests SHORT field margins and other residual habitat elements to be important for the conservation of farmland passerines breeding in cropland plains. ..
  32. Liebezeit J, Kendall S, Brown S, Johnson C, Martin P, McDonald T, et al. Influence of human development and predators on nest survival of tundra birds, Arctic Coastal Plain, Alaska. Ecol Appl. 2009;19:1628-44 pubmed
    ..In particular, we recommend research on demography of key predators and their importance with respect to nest survival, and experimental studies that better address challenges posed by high natural variability. ..
  33. Ewen J, Thorogood R, Karadas F, Cassey P. Condition dependence of nestling mouth colour and the effect of supplementing carotenoids on parental behaviour in the hihi (Notiomystis cincta). Oecologia. 2008;157:361-8 pubmed publisher
    ..Carotenoid supplementation did, however, result in an increased paternal provisioning rate. ..
  34. Malt J, Lank D. Marbled murrelet nest predation risk in managed forest landscapes: dynamic fragmentation effects at multiple scales. Ecol Appl. 2009;19:1274-87 pubmed
    ..Our results suggest that dynamic fragmentation effects are generalizable across widespread regions and can be broadly applied to both murrelet management and the conservation of old-growth forest-breeding birds in general. ..
  35. Filali M, Lalonde R, Rivest S. Cognitive and non-cognitive behaviors in an APPswe/PS1 bigenic model of Alzheimer's disease. Genes Brain Behav. 2009;8:143-8 pubmed publisher
    ..In addition, APPswe/PS1 bigenic mice were deficient in retention of passive avoidance learning and left-right discrimination learning, concordant with previous findings in other Alzheimer-like models. ..
  36. Suarez Davalos V, Dangles O, Villacis A, Grijalva M. Microdistribution of sylvatic triatomine populations in central-coastal Ecuador. J Med Entomol. 2010;47:80-8 pubmed
    ..The presence of sylvatic populations and the synanthropic tendency of the vectors highlight the need for continuous active and passive entomological surveillance for the long-term control of Chagas disease. ..
  37. Holveck M, Doutrelant C, Guerreiro R, Perret P, Gomez D, Grégoire A. Can eggs in a cavity be a female secondary sexual signal? Male nest visits and modelling of egg visual discrimination in blue tits. Biol Lett. 2010;6:453-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Consequently, we need a better understanding of underlying visual mechanisms in dim-light environments and behavioural discrimination experiments before confirming the signalling potential of eggshell coloration. ..
  38. Sergio F, Blas J, Blanco G, Tanferna A, Lopez L, Lemus J, et al. Raptor nest decorations are a reliable threat against conspecifics. Science. 2011;331:327-30 pubmed publisher
    ..Our results suggest that animal-built structures may serve as signaling devices much more frequently than currently recognized. ..
  39. Reneerkens J, Grond K, Schekkerman H, Tulp I, Piersma T. Do uniparental sanderlings Calidris alba increase egg heat input to compensate for low nest attentiveness?. PLoS ONE. 2011;6:e16834 pubmed publisher
  40. Varricchio D, Moore J, Erickson G, Norell M, Jackson F, Borkowski J. Avian paternal care had dinosaur origin. Science. 2008;322:1826-8 pubmed publisher
    ..In extant birds and over most adult sizes, paternal and biparental care correspond to the largest and smallest relative clutch volumes, respectively. ..
  41. Ewen J, Thorogood R, Brekke P, Cassey P, Karadas F, Armstrong D. Maternally invested carotenoids compensate costly ectoparasitism in the hihi. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009;106:12798-802 pubmed publisher
    ..As O. bursa infestations reduce population viability in hihi, our findings also highlight the importance of key nutritional resources for endangered bird populations to better cope with common parasite infestations...
  42. Morosinotto C, Thomson R, Korpimäki E. Habitat selection as an antipredator behaviour in a multi-predator landscape: all enemies are not equal. J Anim Ecol. 2010;79:327-33 pubmed publisher
    ..This supports the idea that for prey, not all predators are equal. ..
  43. Angilletta M, Sears M, Pringle R. Spatial dynamics of nesting behavior: lizards shift microhabitats to construct nests with beneficial thermal properties. Ecology. 2009;90:2933-9 pubmed of animal movements with a spatial mapping of environmental temperatures to test predictions about the nesting behavior of the eastern fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus)...
  44. Tschinkel W. Methods for casting subterranean ant nests. J Insect Sci. 2010;10:88 pubmed publisher
    ..The necessary equipment and procedures are described in the hope that more researchers will study this very important aspect of ant natural history. ..
  45. Avilés J, Pérez Contreras T, Navarro C, Soler J. Dark nests and conspicuousness in color patterns of nestlings of altricial birds. Am Nat. 2008;171:327-38 pubmed publisher
  46. Boyko R, Marshall A. Using simulation models to evaluate ape nest survey techniques. PLoS ONE. 2010;5:e10754 pubmed publisher
    ..Marked recount survey methods with sufficient sampling effort hold promise for detecting population declines. ..
  47. Hess S, Rohr S, Dufour B, Gaskill B, Pajor E, Garner J. Home improvement: C57BL/6J mice given more naturalistic nesting materials build better nests. J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 2008;47:25-31 pubmed
    ..These results suggest that C57BL/6J mice given appropriate nesting materials can build nests similar to those built by their wild counterparts. ..
  48. Welbergen J, Davies N. Strategic variation in mobbing as a front line of defense against brood parasitism. Curr Biol. 2009;19:235-40 pubmed publisher
    ..This highlights the need for more holistic research into the coevolutionary consequences when multiple adaptations and counter-adaptations evolve in concert [11]...
  49. Morato E, Martins R. An overview of proximate factors affecting the nesting behavior of solitary wasps and bees (Hymenoptera: Aculeata) in preexisting cavities in wood. Neotrop Entomol. 2006;35:285-98 pubmed
    ..Our objective is to provide an overview of the role of proximate causes of nesting failure or success among solitary wasps and bees (Aculeata), for designing effective conservation and management strategies for these Hymenoptera. ..
  50. Raihani N, Nelson Flower M, Moyes K, Browning L, Ridley A. Synchronous provisioning increases brood survival in cooperatively breeding pied babblers. J Anim Ecol. 2010;79:44-52 pubmed publisher
    ..4. This study highlights a novel strategy that birds use to increase the survival of young and demonstrates the advantages of coordinated behaviour in social species. ..
  51. Zanette L, Field J. Genetic relatedness in early associations of Polistes dominulus: from related to unrelated helpers. Mol Ecol. 2008;17:2590-7 pubmed publisher
    ..These results provide further support to the hypothesis that indirect fitness benefits alone are unlikely to explain why P. dominulus foundresses form cooperative associations. ..
  52. Zhou M, Lei M, Rao Y, Nie Q, Zeng H, Xia M, et al. Polymorphisms of vasoactive intestinal peptide receptor-1 gene and their genetic effects on broodiness in chickens. Poult Sci. 2008;87:893-903 pubmed publisher
    ..05) was found between C+598T in intron 2 and broody frequency (%). Another significant association (P < 0.05) was found between C+53327T and duration of broodiness, in which allele C was positive for DB. ..
  53. Boncoraglio G, Saino N. Barn swallow chicks beg more loudly when broodmates are unrelated. J Evol Biol. 2008;21:256-262 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, kin recognition and relatedness may be important determinants of communication among family members, care allocation and offspring viability in barn swallows...