Avian use of isolated cottonwood, tamarisk, and residential patches of habitat during migration on the high plains of New Mexico

Gregory S. Keller, Julian D. Avery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Limited woodland habitat may influence birds during migration throughout the short-grass prairie of eastern New Mexico and affect their use of habitats. Therefore, we examined the differential habitat use by songbirds during spring and fall migration to determine what strategy migrants use as they move through eastern New Mexico. Our objectives were to determine patterns of species richness, guild richness, and species abundance in wooded habitats in eastern New Mexico during spring and fall migration. We conducted point-counts in wooded habitats in eastern New Mexico within three types of habitat: patches of natural cottonwood (Populus) and elm (Ulmus); patches of invasive tamarisk (Tamarix ramosissima); residential wooded habitats dominated by cottonwoods and elms. Patterns between seasons were nearly identical. Total richness and richness of Nearctic-Neotropical migrants were significantly higher in natural cottonwood patches compared to other habitats. Overall, stands of tamarisk had limited value to any guild. For individual species, insectivores and Nearctic-Neotropic migrants were more commonly encountered in cottonwood draws. However, several migratory species used all three habitats with no significant difference. Information from this study will be valuable to elucidate differences among species and habitats during migration to help in overall conservation of songbirds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-271
Number of pages9
JournalSouthwestern Naturalist
Volume59
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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