We mapped habitat for threatened Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccycus americanus occidentalis) in the State of Arizona using the temporal greenness dynamics of the landscape, or the landscape phenology. Landscape phenometrics were derived from Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data for 1998 and 1999 by using Fourier harmonic analysis to analyze the waveform of the annual NDVI profile at each pixel. We modeled the spatial distribution of Yellow-billed Cuckoo habitat by coupling the field data of Cuckoo presence or absence and point-based samples of riparian and cottonwood-willow vegetation types with satellite phenometrics for 1998. Models were validated using field and satellite data collected in 1999. The results indicate that Yellow-billed Cuckoo occupy locations within their preferred habitat that exhibit peak greenness after the start of the summer monsoon and are greener and more dynamic than “average” habitat. Identification of preferred phenotypes within recognized habitat areas can be used to refine habitat models, inform predictions of habitat response to climate change, and suggest adaptation strategies.
Additional Publication Details
Mapping landscape phenology preference of yellow-billed cuckoo with AVHRR data