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1 September 2009 Nesting Habitat Use by Common Eiders on Stratton Island, Maine
Christina E. Donehower, David M. Bird
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Abstract

We examined nesting habitat use of Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima dresseri) breeding on Stratton Island, Maine in 2004 and 2005. Eiders generally avoided low-lying, open vegetation, and nested in dense, structurally complex habitats. The three most common habitat types used were Asiatic bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculata) patches, red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) thickets, and forest (primarily Malus pumila and Prunus virginiana). Nest densities were highest in bittersweet (> 500 nests/ha). Eiders had little nest predation by Larus gulls, and apparent nest success was high in all three habitats (bittersweet: 82–89%, raspberry: 87%, forest: 58–72%). Eiders appeared to select nest sites adaptively to avoid detection or access by predators, although other factors such as nest microclimate, female quality or condition, and energetic demands during incubation may also be important.

Christina E. Donehower and David M. Bird "Nesting Habitat Use by Common Eiders on Stratton Island, Maine," The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 121(3), 493-497, (1 September 2009). https://doi.org/10.1676/07-010.1
Received: 18 January 2009; Accepted: 1 January 2009; Published: 1 September 2009
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