Publication Details

Effect of vegetation structure on breeding territory selection by red-winged blackbirds in a floodplain forest restoration project

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Furey, Maria A.; Burhans, Dirk E.; He, Hong; Gold, Michael A.; Cutter, Bruce E.

Year Published

2003

Publication

In: Van Sambeek, J. W.; Dawson, Jeffery O.; Ponder Jr., Felix; Loewenstein, Edward F.; Fralish, James S., eds. Proceedings of the 13th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-234. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Research Station: 211-212

Abstract

Our research investigates the role of vegetation structure in the selection of breeding territories by red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) in two floodplain oak-restoration sites. Perches are used extensively by red-winged blackbirds in territorial display during the spring (Yasukawa and Searcy 1995). We hypothesized that breeding territory size may be determined by perch availability, and that breeding territories with few perches would require a larger area for male red-winged blackbirds to defend against other males. We predicted that breeding territories exhibiting high perch densities would be smaller than breeding territories with low perch density. Additionally, we were able to test the importance of perch availability in a floodplain restoration setting in which oaks were planted in varying patterns, and in which a cover crop in one plot type reduced availability of natural perches.

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Citation

Furey, Maria A.; Burhans, Dirk E.; He, Hong; Gold, Michael A.; Cutter, Bruce E. 2003. Effect of vegetation structure on breeding territory selection by red-winged blackbirds in a floodplain forest restoration project. In: Van Sambeek, J. W.; Dawson, Jeffery O.; Ponder Jr., Felix; Loewenstein, Edward F.; Fralish, James S., eds. Proceedings of the 13th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-234. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Research Station: 211-212

Last updated on: February 1, 2007