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Does Age Influence Territory Size, Habitat Selection, and Reproductive Success of Male Canada Warblers in Central New Hampshire?

Leonard R. Reitsma, Michael T. Hallworth and Phred M. Benham
The Wilson Journal of Ornithology
Vol. 120, No. 3 (Sep., 2008), pp. 446-454
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20456177
Page Count: 9
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Does Age Influence Territory Size, Habitat Selection, and Reproductive Success of Male Canada Warblers in Central New Hampshire?
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Abstract

The Canada Warbler (Wilsonia canadensis) is currently in decline in the northeastern United States and basic demographic parameters remain to be described. We studied marked populations (76 ASYs, 14 SYs, and 2 of unknown age) of Canada Warblers on two study sites from 2003 to 2006. We mapped 92 territories (including males returning in multiple years) of 71 males using handheld GPS and ArcMap. We compared the pairing and fledging success of older and younger males on both sites, a red maple (Acer rubrum) swamp and a young forest intensively harvested in 1985 with ∼ 10% residual standing trees used by males as song perch trees. Both sites had a high proportion of ASYs (84% ASY for all territorial males, 77.5% of all males including non-territorial individuals). Both pairing (91%) and fledging (78%) success was comparatively high suggesting these two sites were of high value to this species. A higher proportion of SYs were transients. Pairing success was lower for younger males which established territories, but paired SYs fledged at least one young at a rate comparable to older males. This study corroborates the benefits of age and experience to reproductive performance. The results suggest that both red maple swamps and post-harvest forests with thick subcanopy vegetation and emergent trees provide high quality habitat for breeding Canada Warblers.

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