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Re: Harmonious depredations

On Tue, 6 Jun 2000, Ronald Orenstein wrote:
> >What about Ron's claim that ostriches nest in harmony with predators?
> I made no such claim.  I said that they coexist with predators, who 
> certainly take eggs (their nesting success rate is only about 10%), without 
> being exterminated by them - a very different point and one directly 
> contradicting John's hypothesis.

The point that you have not admitted is that ostrich nesting is dependent
on predator presence.  Until you do so, you are saying that they have
nothing to fear from predators.  My argument depends on this

> authoritative Handbook of the Birds of the World, with the caption "...the 

Are you suggesting that this entry should trump Bertram's study in some
way?  He clearly indicates that if ostriches nest in places easily
accessible to hyenas that all nests will be taken.  

> Though rheas frequently hide their nests, "the male sometimes uproots all 
> the vegetation within a radius of 2-3 meters around the nest, apparently to 
> isolate it, in case there is a fire".


> Emu nests are "always in a fairly 
> open site, where the sitting male has a good view of the surrounding land".

"Open site" lacks definition.  Open site with grass? On sand dunes?  I'm
not being critical of HBW, only stating what we say to all our
students: you must go deeper than encyclopedias.