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Winter habitat of Kirtland's Warbler: An endangered nearctic/neotropical migrant

, : Winter habitat of Kirtland's Warbler: An endangered nearctic/neotropical migrant. Wilson Bulletin 110(2): 244-261, June

Habitats of Kirtland's Warbler (Dendroica kirtlandii) on the wintering grounds in the Bahama Archipelago are presented based upon data from 29 specimens, two bandings, and 67 sightings of at least 61 individuals on 13 islands scattered through the region. We placed a major emphasis on a study site in central Eleuthera, with additional information from sites on Grand Turk, North Caicos, and Crooked Island. The warblers used upland habitats that have a low shrub/scrub component with a mosaic of small openings and openings within the vegetation at the ground level. Six broad habitats were used: natural shrub/scrub, secondary shrub/scrub, low coppice, pineland understory, saline/upland ecotone, and suburban; high coppice was not used. The structure and floristic composition of the habitats are described. Observations (n = 451) of a Kirtland's Warbler male (uniquely color banded) and female over three months indicated the birds generally stayed within 3 m of the ground (98% of observations), and used a territory of 8.3 ha. A crude estimate of potential winter habitat suggests that not only is there more than an adequate amount in the Bahama Archipelago for the current small population of warblers (733 singing males in 1997), but also enough for a considerably larger population. No serious future threat to the amount of that habitat is foreseen.


DOI: 10.2307/4163934

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