Author

Miles Becker

Date Approved

2006

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

Committee Member

Peter Bednekoff, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

Catherine Bach, PhD

Committee Member

Jamin Eisenbach, PhD

Abstract

Loggerhead shrikes have disappeared across much of their former range, most likely due to habitat loss. I studied the habitat shrikes prefer for foraging. Shrikes forage from a perch on prey that they see in the surrounding vegetation. When I mowed the vegetation on one side of selected perches, shrikes strongly preferred to forage on the mowed side even though prey biomass was far lower on this side. These results suggest that access to prey is important to shrikes rather than simply the total amount of prey in a habitat. Within territories, shrikes chose to perch on dead or partially dead trees more often than expected. I constructed artificial perches surrounded by leafy branches, dead branches, or no branches. Shrikes preferred artificial perches surrounded by dead branches. These results suggest that shrikes utilize perches with a good view of potential prey that also provide cover from potential attacks by predators.

Comments

Additional committee member: Cara Shillington, PhD

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Biology Commons

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