Wasp and bird nesting interactions with special reference to Polistes dominula

Thumbnail Image
Earley, Christopher Gene
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Guelph

Polistes dominula and P. fuscatus often nest in bird nest boxes. Potential competition between wasps and birds was studied by removing wasp nests from some boxes. No difference in nesting success of breeding birds was found between boxes with wasp nests and those in which wasp nests were removed. Boxes that never had a wasp nest and boxes from which wasp nests were removed differed greatly in bird occupancy, suggesting that birds detected previous wasp presence. Some bird species gain protection by nesting near wasp nests. Birds may prefer to nest near wasp species that inflict higher sting pain levels. A rank correlation of data from published studies provided no evidence that pain level influences which wasp nests are most attractive to nesting birds. A comprehensive table of bird-wasp nesting associations (listing 121 bird species, 28 wasp species and 4 bee species) is included here.

bird-wasp nesting associations, nest box competition, Polistes dominula, sting pain