The primary driver of nest failure for terrestrial birds is depredation, especially for ground-nesting species that are vulnerable to a diverse guild of predators. However, descriptions of how complex predator–prey interactions happen, and ultimately lead to nest failures, are scarce. Herein, we provide observations collected from cameras stationed at nest sites as part of a larger study on Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata) nesting behavior in the Oklahoma Panhandle during 2016. We observed 2 multi-episode (i.e., multiple predator visits) diurnal nest depredation events at a nest of each species. In both instances, repeated nest depredation by hispid cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus) as well as 2 different snake species resulted in nest abandonment. We observed that cotton rats routinely visited nest sites (up to 11 times in 1 diurnal period), and often entered the nest during off bouts (64% of off bouts) of the incubating females. By detailing interspecific interactions involved in nest depredation, we provide a glimpse into the complexity of the nesting ecology of ground-dwelling birds. These observations further reinforce the potential pitfalls of categorizing nest depredation events without camera data. Received 17 March 2022. Accepted 17 September 2022.

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