Habitat associations of migrating and overwintering grassland birds in Southern Texas

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We report on the habitat associations of 21 species of grassland birds overwintering in or migrating through southern Texas, during 1991-1992 and 1992-1993. Ninety percent of our grassland bird observations were made during winter and spring, and only 10% occurred during fall. Grassland species made up a high proportion of the total bird densities in grassland and shrub-grassland habitats, but much lower proportions in the habitats with more woody vegetation. Fewer grassland species were observed in grassland and woodland than in brushland, parkland, and shrub-grassland habitats. Grassland birds generally were found in higher densities in habitats that had woody canopy coverage of < 30%; densities of grassland birds were highest in shrub-grassland habitat and lowest in woodland habitat. Species that are grassland specialists on their breeding grounds tended to be more habitat specific during the nonbreeding season compared to shrub-grassland specialists, which were more general in their nonbreeding-habitat usage. Nonetheless, our data demonstrate that grassland birds occur in a variety of habitats during the nonbreeding season and seem to occupy a broader range of habitats than previously described.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Habitat associations of migrating and overwintering grassland birds in Southern Texas
Series title Condor
DOI 10.2307/1370064
Volume 101
Year Published 1999
Language English
Publisher Cooper Ornithological Society
Contributing office(s) Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Description 12 p.
First page 771
Last page 782
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