Date of Original Version
Natural Resources Science
Umbrella species management offers a potential solution to the financial and logistical challenges of managing for the many declining species in early-successional forests, a habitat that is also critical for many mature and young forest songbird species during the post-fledging and post-breeding period. We investigated the movements of adult Eastern Towhees (Pipilo erythrophthalmus) during the post-fledging period in 4 km2 landscapes managed for American Woodcock (Scolopax minor), a popular umbrella species candidate for young forest management. Home range size (mean = 2.8 ha, SE 0.33) did not differ during the post-fledging period between adult towhees inhabiting landscapes designated as high-likelihood (HL) or low-likelihood (LL) of woodcock use. Adults moved distances of ∼37–47 m per day during the first 3 weeks of the post-fledging period and this did not differ between the 2 landscapes. In contrast, once their young became independent, adults moved longer distances in HL compared to LL landscapes (49.5 m [SE 2.9] and 36.7 m [SE 3.6], respectively) and these distances increased with home range size and patch size. Landscape features within 100 m of the towhee home range best explained variation in towhee movement distance. Young forest habitat was also the predominant forest type used by adult towhees caring for fledglings throughout the post-fledging period. These results suggest that early successional forest management for woodcock can provide effective breeding habitat for towhees, but likely at a smaller spatial scale than typically managed for woodcock.
Brenner, S. J., & McWilliams, S. R. Independence day: Post-fledging movements and behavior of adult Eastern Towhees (Pipilo erythrophthalmus) in landscapes managed for American Woodcock (Scolopax minor). The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, 131(4), 796-806. doi: 10.1676/1559-4491-131.4.796
Available at: https://doi.org/10.1676/1559-4491-131.4.796