Event Title

Determining Species Abundance and Habitat Preferences of Breeding Birds in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois

Faculty Advisor

R. Given Harper

Graduation Year

2020

Location

Center for Natural Sciences

Start Date

4-4-2020 9:00 AM

End Date

4-4-2020 10:00 AM

Description

Habitat destruction is forcing many bird species to rely upon alternative breeding habitats, including in urban areas. However, few studies have surveyed breeding birds in urban areas in Illinois. We conducted the first year of a two-year breeding bird survey and habitat analysis in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, via a modified US Geological Survey (USGS) Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) protocol. We observed 69 species, including seven USGS-designated Species of Greatest Conservation Need. The densities of resident bird species and individual birds were higher at sites in closer proximity to ponds/lakes, while the density of woodland birds was higher at sites that had taller trees with greater canopy cover. The Shannon Diversity Index for all species in Bloomington-Normal was higher than four rural BBS routes, which is likely explained by intensive row-crop agriculture that dominates central Illinois. Bird populations have decreased substantially throughout North America, and this study will help determine ways to make urban areas more suitable as breeding sites.

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Apr 4th, 9:00 AM Apr 4th, 10:00 AM

Determining Species Abundance and Habitat Preferences of Breeding Birds in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois

Center for Natural Sciences

Habitat destruction is forcing many bird species to rely upon alternative breeding habitats, including in urban areas. However, few studies have surveyed breeding birds in urban areas in Illinois. We conducted the first year of a two-year breeding bird survey and habitat analysis in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, via a modified US Geological Survey (USGS) Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) protocol. We observed 69 species, including seven USGS-designated Species of Greatest Conservation Need. The densities of resident bird species and individual birds were higher at sites in closer proximity to ponds/lakes, while the density of woodland birds was higher at sites that had taller trees with greater canopy cover. The Shannon Diversity Index for all species in Bloomington-Normal was higher than four rural BBS routes, which is likely explained by intensive row-crop agriculture that dominates central Illinois. Bird populations have decreased substantially throughout North America, and this study will help determine ways to make urban areas more suitable as breeding sites.