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Relative abundance of georgia usa caprimulgids based on call counts



Relative abundance of georgia usa caprimulgids based on call counts



Wilson Bulletin 93(3): 363-371



A series of call counts was taken from April 13-July 23, 1975, to determine relative abundance of chuck-will's-widows [Caprimulgus carolinensis] and whip-poor-wills [C. vociferus] in Clarke County, Georgia, USA, and to determine how different environment variables affected calling behavior. A 20-station route was separated into 3 general habitat types: suburban, pasture and mixed forest. Student's t-test was used to test differences in numbers of 1 sp. between habitat type. Tests were made for correlations between numbers of calling birds and different environmental variables. Whip-poor-wills were approximately as abundant as chuck-will's-widows in the study area. Whip-poor-wills were significantly more numerous in forested habitat than chuck-will's-widows and the opposite was true in open habitat. Whip-poor-wills were significantly more numerous in forested habitat than in open or suburban areas. Chuck-will's-widows were approximately equally abundant in all 3 habitat types. Change in land use from agriculture to forest is offered as a partial explanation for the southward range expansion of the whip-poor-will. Of all variables tested, lunar phase showed the strongest correlation with number of singing birds. This observation was supported by a series of counts taken during a total lunar eclipse, during which numbers of singing birds varied directly with lunar phase.

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