Investigating the Influence of Vegetation on the Habitat Choice of Various Bird Species in the Breeding, Mid-Summer, and Autumn Seasons

Authors

  • Paolo Fortini

Abstract

In this study, the influence of vegetation features on the habitat choice of various bird species was investigated. Counts of twelve bird species in Parry Sound were obtained for 49 plots of land for the breeding, mid-summer, and autumn seasons. In addition, the abundances of 25 different tree species were determined for these same plots. Using multivariate statistics, associations were found between each bird species and various plots for each season of interest. A correlation was found in the data for the breeding and mid-summer seasons (R=0.744, P=0), suggesting that the birds were responding to the vegetation in those plots in a similar way. A correlation was not found between autumn and either the breeding or the mid-summer season (R=0.278, P=0.09 and R=0.18, P=0.184). Each plot was designated either “coniferous,” “deciduous,” or “mixed,” based on a ratio of the types of vegetation found in those plots. This would allow for the examination of preference. Results showed no overall preference for either plot type in the breeding and mid-summer seasons. The majority of the species preferred deciduous plots in the autumn. Stronger inferences about preference and about vegetation as a factor affecting habitat choice would require further investigation.

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