Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Jeffery L. Larkin, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Joseph E. Duchamp, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Josiah H. Townsend, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Michael C. Tyree, Ph.D.


Recent studies have demonstrated that several songbird species change habitat use patterns between nesting and post-fledging. Thus, management which focuses solely on nesting habitat may overlook habitat elements required during the full reproductive cycle. I studied the influence habitat features on movement and resource selection of fledgling Golden-winged Warblers, a species of conservation concern, from 2014 to 2016. Microhabitat including denser understory vegetation and greater vertical cover was selected by fledglings. Fledglings selected primarily for early-successional forest and secondarily for mature and sapling forest. Fledglings moved at faster rates (m/day) when in forests with higher basal area and at slower rates when in forests with reduced basal area. Along with habitat selection results, this suggests fledglings used mature forest for traveling between patches of regenerating forests. These results highlight the importance of managing landscapes to optimize the distribution and diversity of forest structure where Golden-winged Warbler conservation is a goal.