In this study we explored the linkage between wing size of Great Reed Warbler males (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) and their habitat selection and relate these linkages to differences in reed habitat quality. We measured the wing sizes of males nesting in 6 different reed habitats. To explain reed habitat selection, we modeled male wing size as a function of 7 predictor variables describing reedbeds: proportion of managed reed; densities of mixed, old, and fresh reed; reed stem diameter; water depth; and fluctuation of water level. Mean wing size was greatest for males at large canals, intermediate at mining ponds and smaller canals, and lowest at marshes and very small canals. The proportion of managed reed and fluctuation of water level were negatively related to wing size, and water depth was positively related to wing size, which suggests that males with larger wings preferred reed habitats with little management in deep water with little fluctuation in water level. We concluded that the availability of stable, deep water and lack of management are primarily important in attracting larger-winged (presumably dominant) males.
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Vol. 133 • No. 2