We used radiotelemetry to study behavior of White-throated Robins (Turdus assimilis) during the postfledging dependent period. The study was conducted in a mixed agricultural and forested landscape in southern Costa Rica from March through August of 2001 and 2002. A transmitter was attached to one fledgling per brood (n = 53). Each bird was located daily prior to dispersal. We compared survivorship, habitat use, and movements of fledglings from (1) nests in coffee plantations and (2) nests in cattle pastures. The probability of surviving the first three weeks out of the nest was 0.67 ± 0.07 (SE) for fledglings from nests in all habitats, 0.58 ± 0.10 for fledglings from nests in coffee, and 0.74 ± 0.26 for fledglings from nests in pasture. Fledglings from nests in pasture left their nesting habitat at younger ages than did those from nests in coffee, and most birds from both habitats moved into forest when they left their nesting habitat. Pasture was rarely used during the postfledging period, whereas coffee plantations were used extensively. Fledglings that remained in agricultural habitats (coffee or pasture) were less likely to survive until dispersal than were those that moved into forested areas. Average daily distances from the nest gradually increased until fledglings dispersed away from the natal area, always into forest, and were not different for birds from pasture or coffee. White-throated Robins can nest successfully in agricultural habitats, but use of forest positively influenced survivorship of young during the postfledging dependent period.
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Vol. 121 • No. 2