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Habitat and Landscape Factors Influencing the Presence of Individual Breeding Bird Species in Woodland Fragments

S. A. Hinsley, P. E. Bellamy, I. Newton and T. H. Sparks
Journal of Avian Biology
Vol. 26, No. 2 (Jun., 1995), pp. 94-104
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
DOI: 10.2307/3677057
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3677057
Page Count: 11
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Habitat and Landscape Factors Influencing the Presence of Individual Breeding Bird Species in Woodland Fragments
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Abstract

Bird species distributions in 151 woods (0.02-30 ha) in a lowland arable landscape in eastern England were investigated using logistic regression analysis. Of 31 species included in the study, only Marsh Tit Parus palustris, Nightingale Luscinia mega-rhynchos and Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita failed to breed in woods of <0.5 ha. For many woodland species, the probability of breeding was positively related to woodland area and other variables decribing the woods themselves. For other species, including Blackbird Turdus merula and Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus, woodland perimeter, rather than area, was significant. Variables describing the landscape surrounding the woods were important for both woodland species and those more typical of open country. The length of hedgerow in the surrounding landscape was positively related to the breeding presence in particular woods of Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus, Robin Erithacus rubecula, Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula, Garden Warbler Sylvia borin and Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla, and the area of surrounding woodland was important for Long-tailed Tit, Great-spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major and Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs. The presence of Treecreeper Certhia familiaris was negatively related to the distance to the nearest wood, whereas that of Tree Sparrow Passer montanus was negatively related to the amount of woodland in the surrounding landscape. Thus species breeding distributions were influenced by factors associated with the wider landscape, on a scale larger than that of their immediate habitats.

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