Translator Disclaimer
1 March 2017 Habitat Use and Foraging Behavior of Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis) in Relation to Winter Weather
Todd J. Weinkam, Gregg A. Janos, David R. Brown
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

Population declines of songbirds following severe winters draw attention to a need to better understand behavioral responses to inclement weather. We used observations of radio-tracked Sialia sialis (Eastern Bluebird) wintering in Kentucky to examine the effects of weather on habitat use, group size, foraging behavior, and diet. Home ranges were smaller than published estimates, and consisted of more open than wooded habitat, in proportion to availability. Although habitat use appeared unchanged during inclement weather, Bluebirds increased group sizes, and shifted from insectivory to frugivory during periods of sub-freezing temperatures and snow cover. Fecal analysis confirmed the weather-driven shift of diet. Inclement winter weather likely lowers the efficiency of insectivory, leading to changes in social and foraging behaviors.

Todd J. Weinkam, Gregg A. Janos, and David R. Brown "Habitat Use and Foraging Behavior of Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis) in Relation to Winter Weather," Northeastern Naturalist 24(sp7), (1 March 2017). https://doi.org/10.1656/045.024.s704
Published: 1 March 2017
JOURNAL ARTICLE
PAGES


SHARE
ARTICLE IMPACT
RIGHTS & PERMISSIONS
Get copyright permission
Back to Top