Date of Award

5-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Jeffery L. Larkin, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Joseph E. Duchamp, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Thomas Simmons, Ph.D.

Abstract

The Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) is an imperiled migratory songbird that nests in young forest habitats of eastern North America. As such, this species has recently been the focus of an intensive multi-year, range-wide, breeding ecology study. A major focus of this research involved spot-mapping color banded males to examine relationships between nesting success and territory-scale habitat variables. I compared differences in space and habitat use of individual male Golden-winged Warblers that were monitored using both spot mapping and radio telemetry. An individual's telemetry delineated use area was on average 3.6 times larger than its spot-mapped territory. Almost half (46%) of all telemetry locations were located outside their respective male's spot-mapped territory. Number of saplings was higher in telemetry use areas (22.49 ± 2.14) than spot-mapped territories (11.80 ± 1.86). Although the exact motive for extra-territorial movements is unknown, foraging and/or suggestive observations of extra-pair copulation are likely motivating factors. The results of my study suggest Golden-winged Warblers are seeking resources outside their spot-mapped delineated territories. Furthermore, Golden-winged Warblers were found to have more telemetry locations in mature forest than found through spot-mapping. Ultimately, spot mapping alone does not accurately reflect Golden-winged Warbler space use and habitat needs.

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