Nest site selection of the yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) in Virginia

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dc.contributor.advisor Morrell, Tom en_US Vanosdol-Lewis, Teresa en_US
dc.coverage.spatial n-us-va n-us-wv en_US 2011-06-03T19:38:36Z 2011-06-03T19:38:36Z 1999 en_US 1999
dc.identifier LD2489.Z78 1999 .V36 en_US
dc.description.abstract In 1996 and 1997, I studied the nest site selection of the yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) in the George Washington National Forest, southwestern Virginia. Data were collected from nine 30 ha plots. I compared the habitat features of nest sites with two types of nonnest sites (nonuse and systematically random). Habitat features were measured at 3 spatial scales: nest tree, nest tree area (0.0049 ha centered on the nest), and nest stand (forest stand surrounding the nest). Yellow-billed cuckoo nests were oriented in a nonrandom direction (mean angle = 114°, r = 0.43, P = 0.05) with respect to the bole and were concealed more from above than from below (n = 14, M = 5, p = 0.01) or from the side (n = 14, M = 4, p = 0.04). Slope aspect was nonrandom at yellow-billed cuckoo nest sites (mean angle = 143°, r = 0.52, P < 0.05). Small stem density in the nest tree area was greater (P = 0.029) at nest sites than nonuse sites but species composition was similar. The density of grape (Vitus spp.) and dogwood (Cornus spp.) snags was greater at nest sites than random sites (P < 0.001). Total basal area at yellow-billed cuckoo nest stands was lower than nonuse or random sites with (P = 0.033, and 0.016, respectively) or without (P = 0.014, and 0.004, respectively) snags. Nest sites also occurred in areas with less (P = 0.008) canopy cover but more (P = 0.038) ground cover than random sites. Yellow-billed cuckoos appeared to select nest sites based on the structure and composition of the understory vegetation. Periodic disturbance that promotes the growth of shade intolerant species, but maintains the general structure of the stand may be beneficial for this species that appears to select disturbed areas in mature forests.
dc.description.sponsorship Department of Biology
dc.format.extent viii, 46 leaves : ill. (some col.), maps ; 28 cm. en_US
dc.source Virtual Press en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Yellow-billed cuckoo -- Nests. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Yellow-billed cuckoo -- Habitat. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Nest building -- George Washington National Forest (Va. and W. Va.) en_US
dc.title Nest site selection of the yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) in Virginia en_US Thesis (M.S.)
dc.identifier.cardcat-url en_US

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  • Master's Theses [5510]
    Master's theses submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University master's degree candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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