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1 December 2017 Effects of birdwatchers on sandhill crane behavior at a birding festival in southwest Colorado
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Abstract

The sandhill crane (Grus canadensis) congregates in large numbers during its annual spring migrations in Colorado. The Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in southwestern Colorado celebrates this regular congregation of cranes with an annual spring birdwatching festival that attracts thousands of birdwatchers who observe the cranes at close range. To study how these birdwatchers affect crane behavior at this important migratory stopover, we used focal animal sampling techniques in March 2010 and 2011 at sites both on and off the Monte Vista NWR. Sandhill cranes spent significantly less time foraging at designated crane viewing sites on the refuge during the festival compared with sites on private lands off the refuge.

Kate Wilkins, Gillian Bowser, and John Moore "Effects of birdwatchers on sandhill crane behavior at a birding festival in southwest Colorado," The Southwestern Naturalist 62(4), 263-269, (1 December 2017). https://doi.org/10.1894/SWNAT-D-16-00074.1
Received: 27 September 2016; Accepted: 20 September 2017; Published: 1 December 2017
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