Start Date

17-5-2017 4:00 PM

End Date

17-5-2017 7:00 PM

Subjects

Garden ecology, Gardening to attract birds, Habitat conservation, Birds -- Habitat

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/20324

Description

In what ways do small-scale urban backyards contribute to local bird abundance and biodiversity? In what ways might these yards serve as an ‘extension’ of neighboring native forest areas? This project investigates the contribution that a group of backyards, certified through the Backyard Habitat Certification Program, have in the suburb of Hillsdale, Oregon, which is adjacent to the natural area of Keller Woodland. Backyard owners functioning as citizen or community scientists assisted with conducting residential bird point-counts once a week in each backyard and the natural area. Counts were done for a total of 8 weeks during nesting season to better understand how backyard habitat restoration might affect their habitat especially when in close proximity to a natural area. The goal of the project was to help better understand the beneficial effects of urban gardening using native plants and diverse vegetation structure as this relates to bird species richness, and to explore the importance of community scientist contributions. Although the sample size was small, no significant trends were found, but the involvement of community scientists indicated increased skill, depth of understanding, and increased motivation for all participating backyard habitat owners. More backyards are needed for future research and extension into lower-income neighborhoods would be very beneficial to increase awareness of urban habitat connectivity and the diversity seen in backyard environmental characteristics and yard owner backyard habitat knowledge. A larger sample size could reveal correlations and provide a greater significance in data findings for bird abundance and diversity. A logical extension of this project would be to investigate food-web effects, specifically avian prey species, and smaller green-spaces that are often present in urban neighborhoods in addition to the large green-spaces.

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May 17th, 4:00 PM May 17th, 7:00 PM

Community Science and the Ecological Merits of Backyard Habitat Patches and Adjacent Green-Spaces for Urban Avian Species

In what ways do small-scale urban backyards contribute to local bird abundance and biodiversity? In what ways might these yards serve as an ‘extension’ of neighboring native forest areas? This project investigates the contribution that a group of backyards, certified through the Backyard Habitat Certification Program, have in the suburb of Hillsdale, Oregon, which is adjacent to the natural area of Keller Woodland. Backyard owners functioning as citizen or community scientists assisted with conducting residential bird point-counts once a week in each backyard and the natural area. Counts were done for a total of 8 weeks during nesting season to better understand how backyard habitat restoration might affect their habitat especially when in close proximity to a natural area. The goal of the project was to help better understand the beneficial effects of urban gardening using native plants and diverse vegetation structure as this relates to bird species richness, and to explore the importance of community scientist contributions. Although the sample size was small, no significant trends were found, but the involvement of community scientists indicated increased skill, depth of understanding, and increased motivation for all participating backyard habitat owners. More backyards are needed for future research and extension into lower-income neighborhoods would be very beneficial to increase awareness of urban habitat connectivity and the diversity seen in backyard environmental characteristics and yard owner backyard habitat knowledge. A larger sample size could reveal correlations and provide a greater significance in data findings for bird abundance and diversity. A logical extension of this project would be to investigate food-web effects, specifically avian prey species, and smaller green-spaces that are often present in urban neighborhoods in addition to the large green-spaces.