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Dynamics of a Black-capped Chickadee Population, 1958-1983

Gordon Loery and James D. Nichols
Ecology
Vol. 66, No. 4 (Aug., 1985), pp. 1195-1203
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/1939172
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1939172
Page Count: 9
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Dynamics of a Black-capped Chickadee Population, 1958-1983
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Abstract

The dynamics of a wintering population of Black-capped Chickadees (Parus atricapillus) were studied from 1958-1983 using capture-recapture methods. The Jolly-Seber model was used to obtain annual estimates of population size, survival rate, and recruitment. The average estimated population size over this period was @?160 birds. The average estimated number of new birds entering the population each year and alive at the time of sampling was @?57. The arithmetic mean annual survival rate estimate was @?0.59. We tested hypothesis about possible relationships between these population parameters and (1) the natural introduction of Tufted Titmice (Parus bicolor) to the area, (2) the clear-cutting of portions of nearby red pine (Pinus resinosa) plantations, and (3) natural variations in winter temperatures. The chickadee population exhibited a substantial short-term decline following titmouse establishment, produced by decreases in both survival rate and number of new recruits. Survival rate decline somewhat after the initiation of the pine clear-cutting, but population size was very similar before and after clear-cutting. Weighted least squares analyses provided no evidence of a relationship between survival rate and either of two winter temperature variables.

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