We investigated avian use of clearcuts and two-age harvests during the post-breeding period in 2006 in the central Appalachians, West Virginia, USA with an information-theoretic approach to model selection. Cover variables appeared to be most important; e.g., vegetative vertical complexity had a strong positive relation with capture rates of mature forest birds and molting adults, as well as physical condition which supports a predator-avoidance hypothesis for habitat use. Basal area was a poor predictor of captures; residual trees near nets tended to depress capture rates. Food variables best explained capture rates for some species groups (e.g., early-successional insectivores and granivores, mature forest nesting adults, molting birds), but post-breeding habitat quality was based primarily on vegetative cover. Habitat use may depend on the bird's physical condition and molt status, and we found evidence for age-specific differences which may impact survival. Our study suggests important links between post-breeding habitat quality, molt status, physical condition, and bird age, and indicates a variety of response variables (relative abundance, survival, body condition) should be measured to assess avian habitat quality during the post-breeding period.
|Title||Influence of cover and food resource variation on postbreeding bird use of timber harvests with residual canopy trees|
|Authors||Molly E. McDermott, Petra Wood|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Wilson Journal of Ornithology|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Coop Res Unit Leetown|