McNair Scholars Research Journal


Movement patterns, habitat use, and reproductive behavior are among many attributes impacted by the distribution of resources within habitats. Our study used radio telemetry to investigate the relationship between food availability and movement patterns of breeding and non-breeding red crossbills (Loxia curvirostra). Crossbills were captured and tracked in different seasons and under conifer seed mast and nonmast conditions. Telemetry data were used to generate statistical models to analyze spatial habitat use. Total linear distance traveled per total area of the home range was used as a comparative measure of activity within home ranges across specimens. We found a significant increase in within- home range activity during mast years. Birds rearing young exhibited greater within-home range activity than non-breeding birds. Total distance traveled was significantly greater in summer than in winter. Our results suggest greater activity under high food conditions.