Nest tenacity, defined as the persistence of an individual to continue nesting during and/or following a disturbance, can be an important behavior to influence reproductive potential of individuals and species. Anthropogenic disturbance is a known cause of nest abandonment or destruction, and nest tenacity may be a coping mechanism in response to this source of disturbance. We observed nest tenacity behavior in a female Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata) that initiated a nest on 3 July 2013 near Beaver River Wildlife Management Area, Beaver County, Oklahoma, USA. Ten days into nest incubation, roadside mowing occurred that removed all overhead protective vegetation. Ambient temperatures exceeded 35 °C (the ambient temperature in which Scaled Quail become hyperthermic) on 8 days following the disturbance. However, the female continued to incubate the exposed nest for another 15 days, despite potential thermal stress and being located 7.5 m from a county road with moderate vehicle traffic. This observation indicates that Scaled Quail, a species for which we have limited information on breeding behavior, can exhibit strong nest tenacity.
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Vol. 129 • No. 2