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Vertical Distribution of Birds in a Louisiana Bottomland Hardwood Forest

James G. Dickson and Robert E. Noble
The Wilson Bulletin
Vol. 90, No. 1 (Mar., 1978), pp. 19-30
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4161021
Page Count: 12
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Vertical Distribution of Birds in a Louisiana Bottomland Hardwood Forest
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Abstract

Vertical height data from 4103 sightings of 26 species of birds were analyzed in order to better understand height segregations and resource use. Height categories used were: ground to 0.6 m, 0.6 m to 7.6 m, and 7.6 m to canopy top (approximately 25.9 m). Bird height distributions were compared by means of the chi square test for 2 independent samples. Height diversities were computed by the information theory. The most ubiquitous species in height dispersion were: American Robin, Common Flicker, Rusty Blackbird, and American Goldfinch. The species most restricted in the forest profile and the zones they inhabited were: Red-headed Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker and Blue Jay--canopy; White-eyed Vireo, Kentucky Warbler, and Carolina Wren--mid-story. There was a gradual upward shift in distribution of all birds from winter through spring to the summer breeding season. There was a highly significant winter to summer height distribution change from a nearly equal distributon at all levels in winter to a predominantly mid-story and canopy distribution in summer. Corresponding with this was a reduction in height diversty of the aggregate of all birds. These shifts were presumably a response of the birds to the seasonal change in foliage profile and food supply of a deciduous forest.

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