Urban green spaces:

traps or havens for migratory birds?

Julian Rondon-Rivera¹, Michael  Newhouse², and Claus Holzapfel¹
¹
Rutgers University Newark, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Newark NJ 07102-1811
²
NJ Meadowlands Commission, One DeKorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst, NJ 0707, USA
contact: juliandrr@gmail.com

 

Poster presented at: Ecological Society of America, Mid-Atlantic Meeting 2011, Montclair , NJ

We aim at understanding the role that small, scattered patches of vegetation within urban spaces have in bird migration. Recent studies have established the value of urban habitats to Neotropical migrants but many potential urban stopovers for migratory bird species might have been overlooked because of their small size. During Fall 2010, 633 birds were banded at a 561 m² wooded plot in Newark, NJ (Rutgers Campus).  Rate of mass gain and stopover duration were estimated for Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus),  Ovenbird  (Seiurus aurocapillus ), Swamp Sparrow  (Melospiza georgiana), and White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis). Estimated stopover duration and analysis of daily mass changes in recaptured birds suggest that the urban habitat acted as a stopover site but its potential in providing a place where migrants can replenish energy stores varies amongst species. Overwintering and short-range migrants appear to benefit from isolated urban stopovers while long-distance migrants might not be able to replenish depleted fat stores.

 

 

                           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Species common name

Number of Captures

% of Recaptures

AHY

HY

U

White-throated Sparrow

308

9

39

269

0

Hermit Thrush

54

50

16

38

0

Song Sparrow

52

 

25

27

0

Swamp Sparrow

45

16

7

37

1

Common Yellowthroat

25

4

13

12

0

Gray Catbird

24

8

12

12

0

Dark-eyed Junco

22

 

8

14

0

Ovenbird

19

47

9

10

0

Northern Waterthrush

9

 

3

6

0

Eastern Phoebe

8

 

2

6

0

Eastern Towhee

8

25

6

2

0

Lincoln's Sparrow

6

 

0

6

0

American Robin

5

 

0

5

0

Swainson's Thrush

5

 

3

2

0

Northern Mockingbird

4

 

3

1

0

White-crowned Sparrow

4

 

0

4

0

Brown Thrasher

3

 

3

0

0

Field Sparrow

3

 

0

3

0

Yellow-breasted Chat

3

 

2

1

0

Black and White Warbler

2

 

0

2

0

Black-throated Blue Warbler

2

50

1

1

0

Golden-crowned Kinglet

2

 

2

0

0

Magnolia Warbler

2

 

1

1

0

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

2

 

0

2

0

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

2

50

2

0

0

American Redstart

1

 

0

1

0

Eastern Wood-Pewee

1

 

0

1

0

Fox Sparrow

1

 

1

0

0

House Wren

1

 

0

1

0

Nashville Warbler

1

 

0

1

0

Northern Cardinal

1

 

1

0

0

Palm Warbler

1

 

0

1

0

Savannah Sparrow

1

 

0

1

0

Tennessee Warbler

1

 

0

1

0

Traill's Flycatcher

1

 

0

1

0

White-breasted Nuthatch

1

 

0

1

0

Wood Thrush

1

100

1

0

0

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

1

 

0

1

0

Yellow-rumped Warbler

1

 

0

1

0

Total

633

13

160

472

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Send email to holzapfe@andromeda.rutgers.edu for questions or comments
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Last modified: 04/26/2012