Graduation Year


Graduation Month


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

School or Department

Wildlife Biology


Wildlife Biology – Terrestrial

Faculty Mentor

Victoria Dreitz

Faculty Mentor Department

Wildlife Biology

Faculty Reader(s)

Paul Lukacs, Tom Martin


nest abundance, estimator, Brewer's sparrow

Subject Categories

Population Biology


Nest abundance within a given area is an important component of avian population productivity. A complete census of every nest is often unfeasible (Bibby et al. 2000) and expensive to achieve. Recognizing that perfect detection of all nests in a given area is rare, the rate of nest detection must be known to estimate abundance in many cases. A widely used method to estimate the rate of detection is distance sampling methods that uses the detection distances from intensive and restrictive surveying (Anderson et al. 2005; Marques 2007). A recent analytical approach, time-to-event nest abundance estimator (TENAE), was developed to estimate the abundance of nests using data routinely collected to assess nest success (Péron et al. 2014). Blue-Winged Teal (Anas discors) were used as the model species for the initial development of the TENAE. The ability of the TENAE to accurately estimate nest abundance for other avian species with differing life history strategies is unknown. I evaluated the applicability of the TENAE to Brewer’s sparrow (Spizella breweri) by comparing the estimates of the rate of nest detection and nest abundance based on TENAE to distance sampling methods using data collected on Brewer’s sparrow nests. The TENAE methods produced higher nest detection estimates than the distance sampling methods. Nest abundance estimates from both methods were similar but more precise with the TENAE method.

Honors College Research Project




© Copyright 2016 Kaitlyn M. Reintsma