Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Relationships between nesting populations of wading birds and wetland habitat features

June 16, 2010

We used data from censuses of wading bird colonies on the Atlantic coast from Maine to Florida {1976-1977) to examine relationships between population sizes of wading birds {herons, egrets, ibises) and 9 key habitat features. Variables included features of the colony site {island size, dimensions, isolation from adjacent land) and surrounding (5 km circle) potential feeding habitat {wetland area). Measurements were made on nautical charts using a planimeter. For 122 colonies on islands, 5 multivariate procedures were used. Because of high correlations among habitat variables, a reduced regression model using only 4 variables performed best. The only variable that approached statistical significance (P = 0.06) was land-water interface distance (i.e., wetland 'edge' within the 5 km circle centered on the colony site).

Citation Information

Publication Year 1986
Title Relationships between nesting populations of wading birds and wetland habitat features
Authors R.M. Erwin, J. A. Spendelow, P.H. Geissler, B.K. Williams
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Colonial Waterbird Society Newsletter
Index ID 5222669
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Patuxent Wildlife Research Center