Journal Article Mobbing call experiment suggests the enhancement of forest bird movement by tree cover in urban landscapes across seasons

Shimazaki, Atsushi  ,  Yamaura, Yuichi  ,  Senzaki, Masayuki  ,  Yabuhara, Yuki  ,  Nakamura, Futoshi

12 ( 1 )  , p.16 , 2017-06 , Resilience Alliance
Local scale movement behavior is an important basis to predict large-scale bird movements in heterogeneous landscapes. Here we conducted playback experiments using mobbing calls to estimate the probability that forest birds would cross a 50-m urban area during three seasons (breeding, dispersal, and wintering seasons) with varying amounts of tree cover, building area, and electric wire density. We examined the responses of four forest resident species: Marsh Tit (Poecile palustris), Varied Tit (Sittiparus varius), Japanese Tit (P. minor), and Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea) in central Hokkaido, northern Japan. We carried out and analyzed 250 playback experiments that attracted 618 individuals. Our results showed that tree cover increased the crossing probability of three species other than Varied Tit. Building area and electric wire density had no detectable effect on crossing probability for four species. Seasonal difference in the crossing probability was found only for Varied Tit, and the probability was the highest in the breeding season. These results suggest that the positive effect of tree cover on the crossing probability would be consistent across seasons. We therefore conclude that planting trees would be an effective way to promote forest bird movement within an urban landscape.

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