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Nesting success hindered by honeysuckle?

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Louis Agassiz Fuertes/special to the news sentinel Northern cardinals and gray catbirds nest in dense shrubbery like honeysuckle. Catbirds, named for their mewing call, are a lot less common and nest later in spring than familiar red cardinals.
Looks can be deceiving when it comes to selecting the best plant for a nest site.


Non-native Asian honeysuckle does more than just invade small woodlands and forests. It may be creating an “ecological trap” for birds like northern cardinals, gray catbirds, and American robins that nest in its dense leaves.


Research by ecologist Amanda Rodewald, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology conservation science director, suggests cardinals nesting in non-native honeysuckle shrubs are less successful nesters. The six-year Ohio study that monitored 888 cardinal nests found early season spring nests in non-native honeysuckle experienced higher predation rates than nests in native plants. Cardinals nesting in Asian honeysuckle raised 20 percent fewer young than cardinals nesting in native plants.

View the full article from the Knoxville News Sentinel

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