According to the MacArthur-Wilson model of Island Biogeography, the species richness on a given island should be a function of the size of the island and its distance from the mainland. Following this, one might therefore expect that the likelihood that a small songbird species would nest on a given island in a large freshwater lake would similarly be a function of island size and distance to the mainland. We tested this by installing a single nest box on each of 37 islands in Lake Norman, North Carolina, in the fall of 2019. We hypothesized that Carolina Chickadees (Poecile carolinensis) would be more likely to nest in boxes on islands that are large and/or close to the mainland. Combining our results from 2020 and 2021, we found that neither island size, distance to the mainland, nor an interaction between the two explained the presence of breeding chickadees on islands.

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