Date Thesis Awarded

7-2015

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)

Department

Biology

Advisor

Matthias Leu

Committee Member

John Swaddle

Committee Member

Rowan Lockwood

Abstract

Historically, studies of avian space use, which is critical to fitness, have largely focused on males, just recently on females, and least on pairs. Here, we studied space use and movement patterns of breeding Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina) pairs. Our objectives were to estimate male-female space use overlap and how movement around nests related to breeding stage. We tracked 11 pairs using radiotelemetry while keeping track of their nesting activity. We were able to create kernel density estimates from six pairs, and used these estimates to determine space use overlap (the overlap of utilization distributions), delineate home ranges (95% isopleths), and assess proximity of shared space (at 5%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 95% isopleths). We also calculated the average distance of six males and females from their nests during each nest stage. Space use overlap ranged between 0.45 and 0.81 and was significantly higher in pairs that had fledged at least one nest (henceforth successful) than pairs that did not fledge any nest (henceforth unsuccessful). Shared space in successful pairs showed similar increasing overlap with decreasing space-use intensity, whereas in unsuccessful pairs, shared space of males was always larger than those of females at any space use intensity level. Additionally, males and females ventured furthest from the nest during the incubating and failed nest stages. In tracking pair movements after nest failure, we observed that females generally made the largest movements and often changed territories. Our findings complement previous studies that show that male nest attendance is linked to reproductive success.

Available for download on Monday, July 23, 2018

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