Habitat Preference, Timing of Migration by Age Groups and Age Ratios and Migration Patterns of Birds During the Fall Migration: A Comparative Analysis
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During the period August 31 to November 3, 1981, 3122 birds were captured in mist nets in two different areas at the Kalamazoo Nature Center in southwestern Michigan. One area was a river-bottom forest and swamp and the other area was a grassy upland marsh. The purpose of this study was to see if passerines migrating in the fall showed a distinct preference for one habitat or the other and to compare the results to those obtained by Powell in 1975. The birds, it was found, showed a slight preference for the marsh, which was related to food abundancy and the feeding program at the Kalamazoo Nature Center. When possible, the birds captured were aged and sexed. Of the 66 species captured, 21 were aged so as to calculate their age ratios. This was done to determine the timing of migration (whether adults or young migrate first or if they migrate simultaneously) and to determine migration patterns. The latter was compiled with data collected by Ralph (1980). A study was also done on the populations of passerines migrating through the Kalamazoo Nature Center, comparing the data from the fall of 1975 to that of 1981. Except for two species, all the species captured indicated a drastic decline in populations.
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