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Breeding bird communitiesAuthor(s): Vanessa L. Artman; Randy Dettmers
Source: In: Sutherland, Elaine K.; Hutchinson, Todd F., eds. Characteristics of mixed oak forest ecosystems in southern Ohio prior to the reintroduction of fire. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-299. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 139-155
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Northeastern Research Station
PDF: View PDF (141.58 KB)
DescriptionPrescribed burning is being applied on an experimental basis to restore and maintain mixed-oak communities in southern Ohio. This chapter describes baseline conditions for the breeding bird community prior to prescribed burning. We surveyed breeding bird populations at four study areas using the territory-mapping method. We observed 35 bird species during the surveys. The red-eyed vireo (Vireo olivaceus), ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus), wood thrush (Hylocichla mustelina), Acadian flycatcher (Empidonax virescens), and scarlet tanager (Piranga olivacea) were the most abundant, followed by the eastern wood-pewee (Contopus virens), hooded warbler (Wilsonia citrine), worm-eating warbler (Helmitheros vermivorus), and cerulean warbler (Dendroica cerulean). Densities of three bird species, the cerulean warbler, great crested flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus), and eastern phoebe (Sayornis phoebe), varied among study areas. We compared our results to other surveys conducted in the Eastern United States and found that the composition of breeding bird communities was similar between mixed-oak and beech-maple forest types. We monitored 239 nests of 14 bird species to establish baseline levels of breeding productivity and to describe nest site selection. Predation of nest contents was the primary cause of nesting failure for most of the bird species monitored. Nest predation rates were highest for the ovenbird and wood thrush and lowest for the wormeating warbler and Acadian flycatcher. Parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) was a second factor limiting breeding productivity. Cowbird parasitism rates varied among host species but were comparable to rates reported from other studies. The overall nesting success rate for the wood thrush was lower than observed in other continuously forested landscapes in the Eastern United States, but this low rate was offset by the absence of cowbird parasitism for this bird species.
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CitationArtman, Vanessa L.; Dettmers, Randy. 2003. Breeding bird communities. In: Sutherland, Elaine K.; Hutchinson, Todd F., eds. Characteristics of mixed oak forest ecosystems in southern Ohio prior to the reintroduction of fire. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-299. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 139-155
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