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Tuesday, January 26 • 4:20pm - 4:40pm
Nest Site and Territory Selection By Cerulean Warblers Setophaga Cerulea In Southern Indiana

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AUTHORS: Claire E. Nemes*, Clayton D. Delancey, and Kamal Islam, Affiliation: Department of Biology, Ball State University

ABSTRACT: The cerulean warbler Setophaga cerulea is a Neotropical migratory songbird that has experienced dramatic population declines over the past four decades, largely due to habitat loss on both its wintering and breeding grounds. This canopy-nesting species is listed as endangered in Indiana, where breeding populations persist in the southern portion of the state. Between 2011 and 2015, we searched for cerulean warbler nests within the experimental units of the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment (HEE), a long-term, collaborative ecological research project investigating the impacts of different forest management strategies on wildlife in two Indiana state forests. At each nest location, we measured microhabitat variables, including slope, aspect, canopy and ground cover, tree DBH, and vegetation density, and compared these values with paired nearby random points to determine which variables were most frequently associated with nest site placement. In addition, we mapped out male territories and sampled habitat variables at the center of each territory and compared these characteristics with randomly sampled points in non-use areas to examine which features were associated with cerulean warbler territory placement during the breeding season. Here we present the results of these comparisons and discuss how these data have the potential to inform future management decisions.

Tuesday January 26, 2016 4:20pm - 4:40pm EST
Vandenberg A