Data from: Deceiving predators: linking distraction behavior with nest survival in a ground-nesting bird
Gómez-Serrano, Miguel Angel; López-López, Pascual (2016), Data from: Deceiving predators: linking distraction behavior with nest survival in a ground-nesting bird, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.48km5
Individual behavior that minimizes predation risk is favored by natural selection. Ground-nesting birds employ different defensive behaviors as part of their antipredator strategies because they nest where a wide range of predators have access. We investigated the influence of distraction displays on breeding success in the Kentish Plover, Charadrius alexandrinus, in order to explore the role of the defensive behavior on nest survival. We quantified the intensity of defensive behavior of adult plovers in response to nest disturbance caused by an approaching researcher, by ranking display types according to the intensity and exposure to predation. We also examined sex differences in nest defense to determine whether the existence, intensity, and consistency of individual defensive behaviors could have an impact on nest survival. We used the nest survival model in Program MARK to estimate daily survival rates of nests and to examine the influence of temporal, behavioral, and habitat variables on nest success. Our results show a positive correlation between male and female defense behaviors within pairs and that nests in which parents invested more on defense survived longer. Nevertheless, there were differences in the risks assumed by the 2 members of breeding pairs in nest defense, with females performing riskier defensive behaviors than males. The top-ranked nest survival models included combined additive effects of site, season, habitat type, nest exposure, and the defense behavioral response of females as best predictors. Finally, our study highlights that increased risk assumption in offspring defense is advantageous in terms of individual fitness.