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Avian habitat relationships in pinyon-juniper woodland

September 1, 1987

Habitat relationships of breeding birds were examined in northwestern Colorado in pinyon-juniper (Pinus edulis-Juniperus osteosperma) woodland and in openings where most overstory trees had been knocked down by anchor chaining. Vegetation characteristics and physical habitat features were measured in 233 0.04-ha circular plots around singing males of 13 species of birds from 15 May to 15 July 1980. Thirteen-group discriminant function analysis ordinated bird species along three habitat dimensions described by (1) canopy height; (2) slope, shrub size, and shrub species diversity; and (3) percentage canopy cover, large tree density, distance from a habitat edge, litter cover, and green cover. Woodland, open-area, and intermediate edge species were clearly segregated along the first discriminant axis, and species' associations with shrubs, inclination, ground cover, and edges were revealed by the ordinations along the second and third discriminant axes. Two-group discriminant analyses comparing occupied and available plots identified additional and more specific habitat associations. For example, Hermit Thrushes (Catharus guttatus) were associated with mature forested habitats and forest interiors, Virginia's Warblers (Vermivora virginiae) favored steep, oak-covered draws, Rock Wrens (Salpinctes obsoletus) selected areas where percentage log cover and small tree density were high, and Dusky Flycatchers (Empidonax oberholseri) preferred shrubby slopes with scattered large trees near woodland edges.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1987
Title Avian habitat relationships in pinyon-juniper woodland
Authors James A. Sedgwick
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title The Wilson Bulletin
Index ID 70121880
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse