Foraging Niches and Resource Partitioning Between Three Co-occurring Songbirds in the Southern Appalachians Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
Creator
  • Becraft, Katie
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Curriculum in Environment and Ecology
Abstract
  • The Black-throated Blue Warbler (Setophaga caerulescens), Black-throated Green Warbler (Setophaga virens), and Blue-headed Vireo (Vireo solitarius) inhabit mixed hardwood and cove forests of the southern Appalachian Mountains. They are similar in that they are small, insectivorous, Neotropical migrants which obtain most of their food primarily from foliage arthropods. In the southern Appalachians, they co-occur frequently, and during the breeding season when energetic demands are high, they could be competing for limited resources. I quantified the foraging niches of these bird species and found that they have different foraging niches and that the presence of each species affects the behavior of the other species for some of the foraging characteristics studied. This suggests that competition is an important factor in determining resource partitioning between these species. These findings have implications for understanding community structure and for informing land management strategies for avian communities in the southern Appalachian Mountains.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Hurlbert, Allen
Degree
  • Master of Science
Graduation year
  • 2013
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