Using mark-recapture models, apparent survival was estimated from older banding and re-sighting data (1978–1983) of American Oystercatchers (Haematopus palliatus) nesting on beaches and in salt marshes of coastal Virginia, USA. Oystercatchers nesting in salt marshes exhibited higher apparent survival (0.94 ±0.03) than birds nesting on beaches (0.81 ±0.06), a difference due to variation in mortality, permanent emigration, or both. Nesting on exposed barrier beaches may subject adults and young to higher risk of predation. These early estimates of adult survival for a species that is heavily monitored along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts can be used to (1) develop demographic models to determine population stability, (2) compare with estimates of adult survival from populations that have reached carrying capacity, and (3) compare with estimates of survival from other oystercatcher populations and species.
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A historical estimate of apparent survival of American oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) in Virginia