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Scholars Day: April 15, 2009

Habitat Selection of Fall Migrating Songbirds

Researchers and conservationists have become increasingly concerned about declining populations of Nearctic and Neotropical songbirds. Previous research and management have targeted breeding and wintering habitat; however, interest in migration stopover habitat has grown recently. In light of this, I have designed my graduate research project to study the habitat selection of fall migrating songbirds at Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge. My first season of field research occurred this past fall, running from 1-September to 14-October, in which I quantified songbird abundance using both transect counts and mist nets in shrublands and forests containing varied habitat characteristics. I quantified these habitat characteristics, including shrub cover, shrub stem density, and fruit availability, in each field to determine what characteristics migrating songbirds use to select stopover sites. Preliminary analyses suggest that many migrant birds tend to select early successional fields with high levels of available fruit and honeysuckle cover.

Presenter: Bradley Mudrzynski (Graduate Student)
Topic: Environmental Science
Location: 219 Hartwell
Time: 1:15 pm (Session III)