Date of Award:

5-1971

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences

Advisor/Chair:

Wilford J. Hanson

Abstract

A total of 733 bird nests, representing 55 species from 23 habitats, was examined. Forty-nine percent of the nests of 39 bird species were infested with 16 species of Protocalliphora.

Infestation of bird nests by Protocalliphora is believed to be related to a number of factors, which are discussed. Loosely constructed nests, nests heavily saturated with feces, and nests occupied early in the season had low rates of infestation. Nests of colonial birds were more frequently infested than those of solitary birds. Nests of some birds were rarely or never infested.

Sixteen species of Protocalliphora are differentiated and their host and habitat preferences discussed. Some species appeared to be either host or habitat specific, but infestation by many species appeared to be controlled by a combination of host and habitat specificity.

Aspects of the life history of the species of Protocalliphora are discussed. An aggregation of adult Protocalliphora at a Bank Swallow colony was noted.

Mortality in nestling birds from the feeding of Protocalliphora was rarely observed, except in nests of Yellow-headed Blackbirds and Cliff Swallows, where other factors may have contributed to high mortality.

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