Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


A nesting population of House Finches in Hays, Ellis County, Kansas, was studied during the 1987 and 1988 breeding seasons. Preferred nest sites (89 nests) were determined and 62 nests were watched until nesting was completed or failed. Most nests were 1.4- 4 .4 m above the ground in ornamental ever greens (usually Colorado blue spruce and red cedar) and faced toward W to SSE directions. Egg-laying occurred from 7 April to 22 July, and the mean laying period for individual clutches was 3.5 days. Mean clutch size was 4.4. The incubation period averaged 13.8 days. Hatching success (266 eggs) was 30.1%. The nestling period averaged 13.5 days (62 nests). Fledging occurred between 4 May and 19 August. As many as three broods may have been produced. The nest survival rate was 73% in 1987 but only 46% in 1988. The survival rate by the Mayfield method, including the hatching rate, was 29% for both years. Most losses were due to predation, desertion, weather, and cowbird parasitism.


Charles A. Ely

Date of Award

Fall 1988

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


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