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Title:Songbird migration ecology in east-central Illinois
Author(s):Parker, Christine Marie
Advisor(s):Miller, James R.
Department / Program:Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences
Discipline:Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:Migration is a well-known phenomenon by which birds move to locations with favorable climates and abundant resources. The habitats and resources utilized by these birds throughout their annual cycle continue to be impacted by human activities, such as fragmentation and deforestation. These activities inflate the inherent consequences of migration (e.g., reduced survival, carry-over effects, and health) and contribute to the continued decline of migratory birds. I studied passerine migration across east-central Illinois from 2012 through 2014. During this time, birds were surveyed during spring and fall migratory periods to address two research questions: 1) what habitat characteristics are indicated by different metrics of habitat quality used to evaluate stopovers for migrants? 2) which birds play a larger role in tick dispersal, and how do habitat characteristics influence infestation? Although migrants were using fragmented study sites, I found little evidence to suggest that they were able to increase energy reserves, although I did detect a slight increase in condition among long-distance migrants in response to shrub-fruit abundance. Vegetation cover was positively related to migrant abundance and richness. I found that short-distance migrants experienced greater infestation prevalence than long-distance migrants. Birds that forage in the forest understory (< 10 m) experienced greater infestation prevalence than canopy foraging species. Ixodes spp. infestation prevalence was influenced by patch size and invasive shrub fruit abundance, while H. leporispalustris was unrelated to avian or habitat characteristics. This research indicates that variation in life-history traits among migratory birds may influence the quality and consequences of stopovers during migratory periods.
Issue Date:2015-07-23
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Christine Parker
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-29
Date Deposited:August 201

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