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Postfledging Dispersal, Habitat Use, And Home-range Size Of Juvenile Wood Thrushes

Angela D. Anders, J. Faaborg, F. Thompson
Published 1998 · Biology

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Although the availability of suitable postfledging habitat potentially is piv- otal to juvenile Neotropical migratory birds, data on dispersal, habitat use, and home-range size are limited. We used radio telemetry to study the postfledging ecology of juvenile Wood Thrushes (Hylocichla mustelina) in the Ozark Mountains of southern Missouri. Natal home ranges were in mature oak-hickory forest, and natal home-range size ranged from 2.6 to 24.8 ha. Juveniles dispersed independently from their natal home ranges to post-dispersal ranges, with a mean dispersal direction of 185.2 + SD of 77.20 and a mean distance of 2.08 ? 1.48 km. Habitats used after dispersal differed from natal habitats and included early succes- sional oak-hickory and pine forests, mid-successional pine forest, mature riparian forest, and forest/field edges. These habitats were characterized by a dense understory and thick ground cover. Post-dispersal home-range size averaged 1.53 ha. Our data suggest that in large tracts of mature deciduous forest, a mosaic of early and mid-successional forest stands, along with mature riparian forest, will accommodate both the breeding and post-dispersal habitat requirements of Wood Thrushes and other Neotropical migratory birds. Received 21
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