Populations of shrub-breeding birds are declining in eastern North America, and loss of habitat has been implicated in these declines. Seasonal use of habitat by shrub-breeding birds in the southeastern US remains understudied despite the fact that it is well documented that species resident within a region can shift habitat use dramatically between seasons. To better understand year-round habitat occupancy by shrub-breeding birds, we conducted bird counts and vegetation surveys during summer and winter 2008–2009 within Tuskegee National Forest, Alabama. We used multi-season occupancy models to examine use of habitat and to contrast seasonal occupancy patterns of four species of resident shrub-breeding birds—Brown Thrashers (Toxostoma rufum), Eastern Towhees (Pipilo erythrophthalmus), Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis) and Carolina Wrens (Thryothorus ludovicianus). Brown Thrashers and Eastern Towhees are partially migratory—meaning some populations have separate breeding and wintering areas—whereas Carolina Wrens and Northern Cardinals are non-migratory. All four species showed seasonal changes in use of habitat between summer and winter, and all species were associated with both vegetation structure and certain types of cover. Further, partially migratory shrub-breeding species had greater site-turnover and increases in occupancy between summer and winter than non-migratory species. Our results suggest that: (1) management actions based on breeding habitat requirements will likely not create suitable winter habitat, and (2) management of resident shrub-breeding birds will require not only the creation and maintenance of certain types of cover, but also certain structural aspects of vegetation within habitats.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.