Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Habitat Associations of Breeding Birds in Cottage and Natural Areas of Central Ontario

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1983
Authors:Clark, K, Euler, D, Armstrong, E
Journal:The Wilson Bulletin
Date Published:1983
ISBN Number:00435643
Keywords:Catharus, Catharus fuscescens, Catharus ustulatus, Dendroica, Dendroica coronata, Erithacus, Erithacus rubecula, Hylocichla, Hylocichla ustulata, Melospiza melodia, Mniotilta, Mniotilta varia, Muscicapidae, Pheucticus, Pheucticus ludovicianus, Setophaga, Setophaga coronata, Vireo, Vireo olivaceus, Vireonidae, Zonotrichia, Zonotrichia albicollis
Abstract:Habitat associations of breeding birds in central Ontario were determined by measuring habitat characteristics at singing posts and nest-sites and by using these variables in principal component and stepwise discriminant function analyses. These results were then used as baseline data to predict avian responses to habitat disturbance caused by cottage development. Three habitat variables were important in accounting for large proportions of the total variance in all analyses. These were canopy volume, tree density, and amount of understory. The consistent importance of these variables in our analyses as well as in other published studies suggests that these variables may be significant in avian habitat selection. Coniferous composition was important in the discriminant function analysis, and may be important as another measure of horizontal structuring of habitat. By interpreting the positions of each species along the discriminant function and principal component axes, habitat associations could be described and predictions made regarding the response of a species to habitat disturbance caused by cottage development. In Muskoka-Haliburton removal of the majority of vegetation around a cottage leaves breeding habitat for Song Sparrows and robins. If some predominately coniferous vegetation is left, White-throated Sparrows will also occur. Phoebes and pewees occur on the periphery of cottage clearings. Selective tree removal while leaving the rest of the vegetation undisturbed would create breeding habitat for Veerys, Black-throated Blue and Yellow-rumped warblers, and Red-eyed Vireos. Cottage lots that have been cleared and allowed to go through natural succession to the immature tree stage would create breeding habitat for Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. Swainson's Thrush, Black-throated Green and Black-and-White warblers probably will not occur near cottages because they are intolerant of vegetation disturbance.
Short Title:The Wilson Bulletin
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