Urban ecosystems are attractive to several raptor species, including the Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis). To better understand the niche filled by urban-nesting Mississippi Kites, we observed nesting kites at 10 nests for a total of 269 hr during the breeding seasons of 2010 and 2011. We assessed prey delivery rates and prey use within and between years, evaluated the influences of nestling age, time of day, day of year, and local atmospheric conditions on delivery rates, and examined provisioning rates by male and female kites. A 62% decrease in the prey delivery rate, measured by the number of prey deliveries, from 2010 to 2011 was likely attributable to extreme heat and drought during the 2011 breeding...
Identifying sources of annual variation in the reproductive success of a species may provide valuable insights into how the species may be affected by future environmental or climatic conditions. We examined annual variation in the nesting phenology, productivity, and apparent nest success of Mississippi Kites (Ictinia mississippiensis), a species common in urban areas in the southern Great Plains, from May through August. We monitored 498 Mississippi Kite nesting attempts in Lubbock, Texas, USA, between 2004 and 2015, from which we modeled daily survival rate as a function of local weather conditions, drought severity, and the state of the El Niño Southern Oscillation. We observed significant annual variation in...
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