Setophaga pensylvanica - (Linnaeus, 1766)
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Other English Common Names: chestnut-sided warbler
Synonym(s): Dendroica pensylvanica (Linnaeus, 1766)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Dendroica pensylvanica (Linnaeus, 1766) (TSN 178911)
French Common Names: paruline à flancs marron
Spanish Common Names: Chipe Flanco Castaño
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.104815
Element Code: ABPBX03020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Perching Birds
Image 7571

© Larry Master

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Passeriformes Parulidae Setophaga
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Dendroica pensylvanica
Taxonomic Comments: Phylogenetic analyses of sequences of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA (Lovette et al. 2010) indicate that all species formerly placed in Dendroica, one species formerly placed in Wilsonia (citrina), and two species formerly placed in Parula (americana and pitiayumi) form a clade with the single species traditionally placed in Setophaga (ruticilla). The generic name Setophaga has priority for this clade (AOU 2011).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 09Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 03Dec1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Still widespread and fairly common, but declining.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5B (19Mar1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5B,N5M (29Jan2018)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SNA), Arizona (S1N), Arkansas (S1B,S5N), Colorado (S2B), Connecticut (S5B), Delaware (S1B), District of Columbia (S4N), Florida (SNA), Georgia (S5), Idaho (SNA), Illinois (S2S3), Indiana (S3B), Iowa (S3B,S4N), Kansas (SNA), Kentucky (S3S4B), Louisiana (SNA), Maine (S5B), Maryland (S4B), Massachusetts (S5B), Michigan (S5), Minnesota (SNRB), Mississippi (SNA), Missouri (SU), Nebraska (SNRN), New Hampshire (S5B), New Jersey (S4B), New Mexico (S4N), New York (S5B), North Carolina (S5B), North Dakota (S3), Ohio (S3), Oklahoma (S2N), Pennsylvania (S5B), Rhode Island (S5B), South Carolina (SNRB), South Dakota (S1B), Tennessee (S4), Texas (S4N), Vermont (S5B), Virginia (S4), West Virginia (S5B), Wisconsin (S4B)
Canada Alberta (S2B), Manitoba (S5B), New Brunswick (S5B,S5M), Nova Scotia (S5B), Ontario (S5B), Prince Edward Island (S5B), Quebec (S5B), Saskatchewan (S5B)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: BREEDING: northeastern British Columbia, east-central Alberta across southern Canada to Nova Scotia, south to northern North Dakota, eastern Nebraska, central Iowa, northern Illinois, central Ohio, Appalachians to northwestern Georgia, Maryland, and Delaware; disjunctly Colorado and in Ozark Plateau of Missouri and Arkansas (Richardson and Brauning 1995, AOU 1998). NON-BREEDING: primarily from Oaxaca, southern Veracruz, Chiapas, and Guatemala south to eastern Panama, casually to Trinidad, Colombia, western Ecuador, and western Venezuela; Netherlands Antilles (Stiles and Skutch 1989, Ridgely and Tudor 1989, AOU 1998). Most common in Costa Rica (Richardson and Brauning 1995).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: HABITAT LOSS/DEGRADATION: Because this species responds favorably to certain human-induced habitat changes, highest densities are found in areas logged or disturbed and subsequently allowed to regenerate. As agricultural use and urban sprawl increase this species is expected to decrease (see Janssen 1987, Robbins 1991). Widespread logging and urbanization are associated with absence (Janssen 1987). PESTICIDES AND CONTAMINANTS: Use of insecticides and bt (BACILLUS THURINGIENSIS), a biological control agent, may cause decreased productivity or abandonment of some areas (Richardson and Brauning 1995). COLLISIONS: 349 of 17,967 birds killed at a single Ontario tower identified as Chestnut-sided Warbler (Weir 1989). Large numbers reported killed in Illinois and Georgia (Graber et al. 1983, Johnston and Haines 1957). PARASITISM: A significant percentage of nests are parasitized by cowbirds throughout range (Peck and James 1987). Reed (1992) ranked this species as having a probability of extinction of 6 on a scale of 1-10 (highest probability = 1), due to its lack of specificity of habitat, its apparently large population size and its relatively narrow geographic distribution. Stotz et al. (1996) describes this species as a relatively low conservation priority in the neotropics.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: Populations and breeding range increased during the 1800s in response to activities that allowed regrowth of forests; local increases also occurred with forest loss from chestnut blight and where open farmland and pastures grew back to scrub and second growth (Dunn and Garrett 1997). Populations remain high in comparison to pre-colonial estimates. However, populations underwent an overall slow decline from the early 1960s to the early 1990s (Sauer and Droege 1992); more recent analysis of Breeding Bird Survey data indicate a decline that is not statistically significant -- 0.7 per cent annual decline, 1966-1999; 0.5 per cent annual decline, 1980-1999 (Sauer et al. 2000). No common trend pattern across the range -- statistically significant declines have occurred 1966-1999 in the Adirondacks, northern New England and Nova Scotia; statistically significant increases have been recorded in the St. Lawrence River Plains and the Great Lakes Transition zones (Sauer et al. 2000). Local population fluctuations are due to regional habitat change (Richardson and Brauning 1995). Similarly, populations on non-breeding grounds appear to be exhibiting local declines where the availability of shrub/scrub/edge habitats are decreasing and fragmentation and urbanization are increasing. Common in forest borders and woodland in lowlands and foothills on both slopes in western and central Panama, but becoming decidedly less numerous in eastern Panama (Ridgely and Gwynne 1989).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDING: northeastern British Columbia, east-central Alberta across southern Canada to Nova Scotia, south to northern North Dakota, eastern Nebraska, central Iowa, northern Illinois, central Ohio, Appalachians to northwestern Georgia, Maryland, and Delaware; disjunctly Colorado and in Ozark Plateau of Missouri and Arkansas (Richardson and Brauning 1995, AOU 1998). NON-BREEDING: primarily from Oaxaca, southern Veracruz, Chiapas, and Guatemala south to eastern Panama, casually to Trinidad, Colombia, western Ecuador, and western Venezuela; Netherlands Antilles (Stiles and Skutch 1989, Ridgely and Tudor 1989, AOU 1998). Most common in Costa Rica (Richardson and Brauning 1995).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, AZ, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV
Canada AB, MB, NB, NS, ON, PE, QC, SK

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002; WILDSPACETM 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
DE New Castle (10003)
IA Fayette (19065)*
ID Ada (16001), Bannock (16005), Blaine (16013), Fremont (16043), Jefferson (16051), Kootenai (16055), Lemhi (16059), Power (16077)
IN Brown (18013), Elkhart (18039), La Porte (18091), Lawrence (18093), Monroe (18105), Morgan (18109), Newton (18111)
MO Lewis (29111), Linn (29115), Macon (29121), Scotland (29199)
ND Cavalier (38019), Rolette (38079)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Brandywine-Christina (02040205)+
04 Little Calumet-Galien (04040001)+, St. Joseph (04050001)+
05 Upper White (05120201)+, Lower White (05120202)+, Lower East Fork White (05120208)+
07 Turkey (07060004)+*, North Fabius (07110002)+, Kankakee (07120001)+, Iroquois (07120002)+
09 Willow (09010004)+, Devils Lake (09020201)+, Lower Red (09020311)+, Upper Pembina River (09020315)+, Lower Pembina River (09020316)+
10 Lower Chariton (10280202)+, Little Chariton (10280203)+
17 Coeur D'alene Lake (17010303)+, Upper Spokane (17010305)+, Idaho Falls (17040201)+, Lower Henrys (17040203)+, American Falls (17040206)+, Portneuf (17040208)+, Beaver-Camas (17040214)+, Big Wood (17040219)+, Lower Boise (17050114)+, Lemhi (17060204)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A small songbird.
General Description: Adult male: Entire crown bright yellow; patch on side of head behind eye white; line from base of bill to eye and extending down side of throat black; two yellowish white wing bars; back bright olive-green, streaked with black; tail black with white patches near tip; underparts white, bordered conspicuously along sides with bright chestnut. Adult female: Similar but colors duller and area of chestnut more restricted. (AOU 1998).
Reproduction Comments: Apparently monogamous.

Nesting in shrubby habitat close to the ground, sometimes deciduous trees. In Ontario, most commonly in hazel (47%), RUBUS (28%), maples (17%), and alder (7.6%). In a small crotch or within a group of thin vertical stems (Peck and James 1987). Average nest height 0.6 m, rarely up to 2 m (Kendeigh 1945, Baicich and Harrison 1997).

Nest built by female. A compact cup of fine grasses, bark fibers, shredded weed stems, and plant down. Lined with fine grasses and hair. Typically 3-5 eggs (usually 4), laid mostly in late May and June. Eggs white, creamy or pale greenish. Incubation 11-12 days be female only (Baicich and Harrison 1997). Female broods; male visits nest and feeds. Young leave nest at 10-12 days and move to low thickets where they are fed and tended by parents young (Richardson and Brauning 1995). Rarely two broods per season (Andrle and Carroll 1998).

Ecology Comments: Highly specialized in its habitat and foraging niche, which probably limited its distribution prior the 1800s (AOU 1998). Was largely dependent on natural disturbance, occupying sites of former forest fires and windstorm blowdowns, stream-bank areas where flooding periodically created early-successional habitat, and early-successional growth around Beaver (CASTOR CANADENSIS) ponds (Richardson and Brauning 1995, Askins 2000).

Territorial during breeding season; male chases intruders from territory. Solitary and territorial in winter, but single birds frequently join mixed foraging flocks as they pass through their territory (Curson et al. 1994, Howell and Webb 1995). Variously reported as highly intraspecifically territorial or variable; maintains small territory around antwren territory (Greenberg 1984).

Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: A long-distance nocturnal neotropical migrant. Fall migration begins from mid-August to late September. Route is broad, extending throughout the eastern United States, east of the Rocky Mountains. Birds move across the central Gulf of Mexico (Rappole et al. 1979) through eastern Mexico and Belize and arrive in Costa Rica by mid-September (Stiles and Skutch 1989). In spring, moves north via the western Gulf of Mexico or along the western Gulf Coast from Central America, beginning to arrive on its northern breeding grounds in mid-May (Rappole et al. 1979).
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Hardwood, Old field, Shrubland/chaparral, Woodland - Hardwood
Habitat Comments: BREEDING: In new, second-growth thickets of alder (ALNUS spp.) and other deciduous bushes growing in scrubby clearings and brushy areas or along the margins of streams, in orchards, pasturelands, forest edges, cut-over forests, roadsides, in open deciduous woodlands and in powerline corridors (AOU 1983, Askins 2000, Dunn and Garrett 1997, Richardson and Brauning 1995). Becomes most common in deciduous second growth or large forest clearings (Richardson and Brauning 1995). Avoids deep woods.

Makes extensive use of scrubby patches, particularly those with RUBUS spp. present (Richardson and Brauning 1995). At high elevations, mountain laurel thickets are used (Dunn and Garrett 1997). Both wet and dry habitats used. Usually avoids conifer-dominated habitats and mature deciduous forests; however, populations from Manitoba west to Alberta occur in mature deciduous woodland with an understory of dogwoods and cranberries. Rarely found in urban settings and in areas of intensive agricultural use; has decreased where such development has replace fragmented or brushy habitats (Garret and Dunn 1997, see Robbins 1990, Burleigh 1958).

In the boreal forest of central Saskatchewan, found almost exclusively in stands of pure aspen (Hobson and Bayne 2000). In north-central Minnesota, found in habitat described as open fields with shrubs (Collins et al. 1982) or open habitat (Collins 1981). In the Appalachian Mountains, inhabits high-altitude stunted oak (QUERCUS) forests (Burleigh 1958). In portions of Appalachian region, found in thickets of young chestnuts, which die before reaching maturity (Richardson and Brauning 1995).

NON-BREEDING: Disturbed areas and clearings within tropical forests, forest borders, second-growth and even shaded gardens and coffee plantations (AOU 1988, Dunn and Garrett 1997, Pashley 1989). Also in moist submontane forest, to an elevation of 1300m (Curson et al. 1994).

In the Canal Zone of Panama, found in equal densities in old and young forest (Greenberg 1984), but prefers mature and late-second growth. Found in mesic and wet sites during wet and dry season, leaving the scrubby areas in the dry season (Morton 1980). Found in mid- to upper canopy of dense, moist forest, but not in the outer canopy of old forests that have a broader, branching structure (Greenberg 1984). In Costa Rica, also inhabits coffee plantations and riparian vegetation (Stiles and Skutch 1989). In Mexico, occupies, humid to semi-humid evergreen forest and edge, plantations, at mid- to upper levels (Howell and Webb 1995).

MIGRATION: Migrating birds can be found in a variety of shrubby habitats and in open woodlands, occasionally deep forests (Obserholser 1974, Bohlen 1989, Richardson and Brauning 1995).

Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Insectivorous. Eats primarily the larvae and some adults of Lepidoptera and Diptera, some spiders, and some seeds and fruit as well (Richardson and Brauning 1995, Dunn and Garrett 1997). Usually forages alone. Gleans the undersurfaces of leaves at the low to medium levels in shrubs and the lower branches of small trees, but may feed in the upper canopy (Curson et al. 1994). Sometimes takes food from the ground or flycatches. On the breeding ground, males forage most often in hardwoods. Females forage most frequently in aspens in mixed hardwood dry-mesic forest in Wisconsin (Sodhi and Paszkovski 1995). In the Canal Zone, Panama, makes frequent use of plant species with planar leaf arrangements (Greenberg 1984).
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Length: 13 centimeters
Weight: 10 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Because this species often inhabits habitats that are human-modified and created, habitat protection through acquisition is not a suitable or feasible method of protection of itself. Overall, populations appear healthy at present, but are declining locally in response to increasing forest fragmentation and urbanization. Maintaining larger patches of habitat and using forest management practices that closely mimic natural disturbance regimes in forests will provide adequate habitat for Chestnut-sided Warbler and other shrubland birds. Existing management practices at sites such as utility right-of-ways can easily be modified to provide higher quality habitat.
Restoration Potential: Not currently in need of restoration.
Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: Specific habitat requirements are not well documented. Data suggest that larger areas of forest are required; negatively correlated with urbanization and extensive logging. Research suggests maintaining a shifting mosaic of early successional habitat within a largely unfragmented forest landscape.
Management Requirements: The primary management concern is the provision of adequate habitat, which is ephemeral and often declines as a result of natural vegetation succession. In the absence of naturally occurring fires and other disturbance, active management (prescribed burning, clearcutting) effectively provides early-successional habitat. Management practices that closely mimic the natural disturbance regimes of forests will best manage for the resident bird community and provide adequate habitat throughout breeding range (see Schulte and Niemi 1998). Before colonization, depended largely upon natural disturbances such as wildfires, floods, localized insect outbreaks and the activity of animals such as beaver and moose to provide early-successional habitat. Where feasible, these natural disturbances should be permitted (Askins 2000).

Single areas generally cannot provide continuously favorable habitat, so successful management in a region will require the provision of a mosaic of sites in different stages of vegetation succession. Where appropriate, clearcuts can be used to maintain a wide range of successional stages, especially when the rotation time between harvests is long enough to permit the forest to mature (Askins 2000). Selective cutting does not appear to create the habitats needed by many early successional species. Found in greater numbers in logged vs. burned areas in northeastern Minnesota, but with a high relative abundance in both treatments. Logged sites were dominated by red maple (ACER RUBRUM; 47%) lesser amounts of conifers (33%) and aspen (11%) (Schulte and Niemi 1998). Management must maintain appropriate mixtures of different tree species at the stand and landscape level (see Hobson and Bayne 2000).

Vegetation along powerline corridors is a significant source of habitat. Powerline corridors can negatively impact forest bird species that require large expanses of uninterrupted forest, but also sustain important populations of shrubland birds. Right-of-ways should be managed by selective tree removal that produces a thick shrubland, resistant to the invasion of trees. Other options such as mowing or "bush-hogging" that mechanically chop up woody vegetation, should be avoided as should broadcast spraying of insecticides (Askins 2000). Habitat management must also take into account neighboring land uses as this species avoids town and areas of intensive agriculture throughout its range, and has decreased where such development has replaced or fragmented brushy habitats. (Dunn and Garrett 1997).

NON-BREEDING: Maintaining large tracts of undisturbed habitat is also a priority on the wintering grounds. While it has low vulnerability to tropical deforestation, is a somewhat area-sensitive species uncommon in small forests. Management for this and other neotropical migrants that utilize shrub/scrub habitat throughout Central America (see Blake and Loiselle 1992, Slud 1964, Stiles 1980) will concentrate on maintaining patches of early-successional habitat and controlling fragmentation and urbanization.

There are indications that fragmentation of tropical forests may lead to increased mortality for migrants occupying those patches. Until further research proves otherwise, limiting fragmentation and increasing forest connectivity should be guidelines for forest management in the tropics as well as in the temperate forests of North America (Petit et al. 1996).

Monitoring Requirements: North American populations adequately monitored by the roadside protocol of the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) (Sauer et al. 1997). Monitoring of populations on non-breeding grounds is needed.
Management Research Needs: Stotz et al. (1996) describe this species as a medium research priority in the neotropics. Richardson and Brauning (1995) suggest the following research needs relevant to management:

1) Determine incidence of second and subsequent broods and lifetime reproductive success.

2) Determine rates of return to natal sites.

3) Study is needed of isolated populations (e.g., in Alberta and Colorado) to determine basic biology and genetics and how closely these birds relate to those in the main populations' range. In addition, the location of these wintering birds and how they mix with the main population is worthy of study.

4) Studies of territoriality across the wintering range, with special emphasis on relationship to habitat type (wet and dry seasons), are needed.

The effect of habitat fragmentation and loss of connectivity in tropical environments is poorly understood. Further investigation of this question is of immediate concern because of the rapidly increasing human populations throughout Central and South America.

Biological Research Needs: Better determination of the relation of song types and their variation to behavior is needed (Richardson and Brauning 1995).
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Passerines

Use Class: Breeding
Subtype(s): Foraging Area, Nest Site, Nesting Colony
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding, or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.

Mapping Guidance: Breeding occurrences include nesting areas as well as foraging areas.

For swallows and other species that have separate nesting and foraging areas, separations are based on nest sites or nesting areas, not to locations of foraging individuals. For example, nesting areas separated by a gap larger than the separation distance are different occurrences, regardless of the foraging locations of individuals from those nesting areas. This separation procedure is appropriate because nesting areas are the critical aspect of swallow breeding occurrences, tend to be relatively stable or at least somwhat predictable in general location, and so are the basis for effective conservation; foraging areas are much more flexible and not necessarily static.

Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Significant dispersal and associated high potential for gene flow among populations of birds separated by tens of kilometers (e.g., Moore and Dolbeer 1989), and increasing evidence that individuals leave their usual home range to engage in extrapair copulations, as well as long foraging excursions of some species, make it difficult to circumscribe occurrences on the basis of meaningful population units without occurrences becoming too large. Hence, a moderate, standardized separation distance has been adopted for songbirds and flycatchers; it should yield occurrences that are not too spatially expansive while also accounting for the likelihood of gene flow among populations within a few kilometers of each other.

Be careful not to separate a population's nesting areas and foraging areas as different occurrences; include them in the same occurrence even if they are more than 5 km apart. Mean foraging radius (from nesting area) of Brown-headed Cowbird females was 4.0 kilometers in California, 1.2 kilometers in Illinois-Missouri (Thompson 1994). Yellow-headed Blackbirds, Brewer's Blackbirds, and probably Red-winged Blackbirds all forage up to 1.6 kilometers away from breeding colony (Willson 1966, Horn 1968). In one study, Brewer's Blackbirds were found as far as 10 kilometers from nesting area (Williams 1952), but this may be unusual.

For swallows and other parrerines with similar behavioral ecology, separation distance pertains to nest sites or nesting colonies, not to locations of foraging individuals. For example, nesting areas separated by a gap of more than 5 km are different occurrences, regardless of the foraging locations of individuals from those nesting areas. This separation procedure is appropriate because nesting areas are the critical aspect of swallow breeding occurrences, tend to be relatively stable or at least somwhat predictable in general location, and so are the basis for effective conservation; foraging areas are much more flexible and not necessarily static.

Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.

Unsuitable habitat: Habitat not normally used for breeding/feeding by a particular species. For example, unsuitable habitat for grassland and shrubland birds includes forest/woodland, urban/suburban, and aquatic habitats. Most habitats would be suitable for birds with versatile foraging habits (e.g., most corvids).

Date: 10Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G.

Use Class: Migratory stopover
Subtype(s): Foraging Area, Roost Site
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: For most passerines: Evidence of recurring presence of migrating individuals (including historical) and potential recurring presence at a given location; minimally a reliable observation of 25 birds in appropriate habitat.

For swallows: Evidence of recurring presence of migrating flocks (including historical) and potential recurring presence at a given location; minimally a reliable observation of 100 birds in appropriate habitat (e.g., traditional roost sites).

Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 7 days annually.

EOs should not be described for species that are nomadic during nonbreeding season: e.g., Lark Bunting.

Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.

Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance somewhat arbitrary but intended to define occurrences of managable size for conservation purposes. Occurrences defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.

For swallows and other species with similar behavioral ecology, the separation distance pertains to communal roost sites rather than to foraging areas; the former tend to be more stable and specific over time than the latter.

Date: 03Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G., and S. Cannings

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Subtype(s): Foraging Area, Roost Site
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Any area used traditionally in the nonbreeding season (used for populations that are not resident in a location year-round). Minimally, reliable observations of 10 or more individuals in appropriate habitat for 20 or more days at a time. For G1-G3 species, observations of fewer individuals could constitute an occurrence of conservation value. Sites used during migration should be documented under the 'migratory stopover' location use class.

Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance is necessarily arbitrary but attempts to balance the high mobility of birds with the need for occurrences of reasonable spatial scope. Note that a population's roost sites and foraging areas are parts of the same occurrence, even if they are more than 5 km apart.

For swallows and other species with similar behavioral ecology, the separation distance pertains to communal roost sites rather than to foraging areas; the former tend to be more stable and specific over time than the latter.

Date: 03Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G.

Use Class: Nonmigratory
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a particular location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals in or near appropriate habitat.

These occurrence specifications are used for nonmigratory populations of passerine birds.

Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Significant dispersal and associated high potential for gene flow among populations of birds separated by tens of kilometers (e.g., Moore and Dolbeer 1989), and increasing evidence that individuals leave their usual home range to engage in extrapair copulations, as well as long foraging excursions of some species, make it difficult to circumscribe occurrences on the basis of meaningful population units without occurrences becoming too large. Hence, a moderate, standardized separation distance has been adopted for songbirds and flycatchers; it should yield occurrences that are not too spatially expansive while also accounting for the likelihood of gene flow among populations within a few kilometers of each other.

Be careful not to separate a population's nesting areas and breeding-season foraging areas as different occurrences; include them in the same occurrence even if they are more than 5 km apart. Blue jays have small summer home ranges but fly up to 4 kilometers to harvest mast (Tarvin and Woolfenden 1999). Flocks of pinyon jays range over 21-29 square kilometers (Ligon 1971, Balda and Bateman 1971); nesting and foraging areas may be widely separated. Tricolored blackbirds forage in flocks that range widely to more than 15 kilometers from the nesting colony (Beedy and Hamilton 1999).

Unsuitable habitat: Habitat not normally used for breeding/feeding by a particular species. For example, unsuitable habitat for grassland and shrubland birds includes forest/woodland, urban/suburban, and aquatic habitats. Most habitats would be suitable for birds with versatile foraging habits (e.g., most corvids).

Date: 10Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G.
Notes: These specs pertain to nonmigratory species.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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Management Information Edition Date: 09Apr2001
Management Information Edition Author: ROBERTSON, B.; REVISIONS BY S. CANNINGS
Management Information Acknowledgments: Funding for the preparation of this abstract was provided by the Department of Defense, Partners in Flight Program, through The Nature Conservancy, Wings of the Americas Program.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 27Apr1995
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): HAMMERSON, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Alabama Breeding Bird Atlas 2000-2006 Homepage. 2009. T.M. Haggerty (editor), Alabama Ornithological Society. Available at http://www.una.edu/faculty/thaggerty/BBA%20website/Index.htm.

  • Alabama Ornithological Society. 2006. Field checklist of Alabama birds. Alabama Ornithological Society, Dauphin Island, Alabama. [Available online at http://www.aosbirds.org/documents/AOSChecklist_april2006.pdf ]

  • Allen, C. R., S. Demarais, and R. S. Lutz. 1994. Red imported fire ant impact on wildlife: an overview. The Texas Journal of Science 46(1):51-59.

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