Winter Site Fidelity of Nearctic Migrants in Shade Coffee Plantations of Different Sizes in the Dominican Republic

  • Wunderle Jr. J
  • Latta S
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We studied three Nearctic migrant species (American Redstart [Setophaga ruticilla], AMRE; Black-and-white Warbler [Mniotilta varia], BAWW; Black-throated Blue Warbler [Dendroica caerulescens], BTBW) wintering in 14 isolated shade coffee plantations (0.1 to 8.7 ha) in the Dominican Republic to determine if site fidelity was comparable to that in tropical forests and if it decreased with plantation size. Site fidelity was measured as the percentage of wandering birds captured in mist nets, as overwinter site persistence of uniquely marked birds observed on the same sites (November to March), and as annual return of marked individuals to previously occupied sites (January to January). The percentages of wanderers in net captures were mostly lower than values reported for natural forests (AMRE 21%, BAWW 12%, BTBW 41%) and did not vary with plantation size. Overwinter site persistence (AMRE 65%, BAWW 65%, BTBW 76%) and annual return (AMRE 34%, BAWW 40%, BTBW 31%) in the plantations fell within the range of values reported for natural forests. Overwinter site persistence decreased with plantation size only in AMRE, although BAWW showed lower persistence in small plantations from early to midwinter. Annual return decreased with plantation size only in AMRE. Despite diminished site fidelity in small plantations, these birds showed some fidelity to small plantations, many of which were smaller than the mean size of winter home ranges. CR - Copyright © 2000 American Ornithologists' Union

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  • Joseph M Wunderle Jr.

  • Steven C Latta

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