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Monday, June 3 • 2:00pm - 2:25pm
Movement, Habitat Associations, and Distribution of Oklahoma's Wintering Longspurs LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

Winter ecology of migratory grassland birds in Oklahoma is poorly understood, despite the region comprising a substantial portion of many species’ winter range. Longspurs, in particular, exemplify such cases and are of particular conservation concern after decades of global decline. Using a combination of field surveys, habitat assessments, and radio-telemetry we are developing winter occurrence and habitat suitability maps for Smith’s Longspur (Calcarius pictus), Chestnut-collared Longspur (C. ornatus), and McCown’s Longspur (Rhynchophanes mccownii) relative to landscape features and other wintering bird species. We established walking line transects at multiple open-grassland sites throughout Oklahoma to determine occupancy, abundance, and habitat associations of longspurs and their co-occurring species. We conducted both local and landscape level habitat analysis for each species. Since Chestnut-collared Longspurs have shown substantial declines potentially attributable to winter habitat loss and/or mortality, we used radio telemetry to track this species at the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge to record the daily movements and habitat use of marked individuals. This effort provided insights wintering social behavior, daily movements and within-season dispersal, winter home range size, and factors likely driving winter survival such as weather extremes and predation. 


John Muller

Oklahoma University

Monday June 3, 2019 2:00pm - 2:25pm CDT
Room 1218