Factors Influencing Fidelity of House Finches to a Feeding Station

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2008
Authors:Davis, AK
Journal:The Wilson Journal of Ornithology
Date Published:2008
ISBN Number:15594491
Keywords:Burrica, Burrica mexicana, Carpodacus, Carpodacus mexicanus, Fringillidae, Georgia, Haemorhous, Haemorhous mexicanus
Abstract:House Finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) in North America are a commonly-studied species, but basic aspects of their life history remain poorly understood. I banded and observed marked House Finches at a backyard feeding site in a suburban neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia from August 2002 through July 2004 to address how age, gender, mycoplasmal conjunctivitis, and time of year affected fidelity of individual House Finches to this site. Of 386 House Finches banded, I recaptured 77 and recorded 1,210 reobservations. More than half (55%) of all birds banded were not seen again and, of those that were, almost half (44%) were seen for less than 2 months. A House Finch's age, gender, and month of capture significantly affected how many times it was subsequently encountered (recaptured or reobserved), but not the duration of time it spent at the site of banding. Young birds (HYs) were encountered more often than adults (AHYs), and females more than males. Young birds with mycoplasmal conjunctivitis were encountered less often than those without, but this was not true for adults. These data indicate high site fidelity of adults during the breeding season and low site fidelity of juveniles early in the summer that becomes higher in late summer. Most birds captured in fall were encountered for up to 3 months. These results are discussed in relation to previous studies and their implications for transmission of Mycoplasma gallisepticum among House Finches.
Short Title:The Wilson Journal of Ornithology
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith