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Hummingbirds are among the most beautiful, acrobatic and mysterious animals in urban ecosystems, where these synanthropic species provide important benefits to humans such as pollination and biophilia. We plan to evaluate how various abiotic and biotic factors found in urban environments such as the LMU campus may affect hummingbird nesting patterns. Thorough nest searching throughout campus has revealed an apparent clustered distribution of nests, as well as patterns within the microhabitats of individual nests. We plan to complete a detailed inventory through standardized habitat evaluation and nest searching at Von Der Ahe, where a large number of active (15) and previously used (4) nests have been located (as of 3/20/2017). We predict variables such as shelter from rain and wind, vegetation density, and the proximity of flowers may increase the likelihood of nest site selection in a particular area. Determining where hummingbirds may preferentially nest in an urban environment will facilitate the location of active nests for investigation into hummingbird nesting behavior and physiology and also define landscape habitat attributes that will enhance hummingbird presence.

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Patterns of Urban Hummingbird Nest Distribution on the LMU Campus