Presentation Title

Providing for birds in our neighborhoods: Relationships between bird communities, front yard habitat, and neighborhood-scale landcover

Abstract

Urbanization is associated with high levels of anthropogenic disturbance, fragmentation and altered native bird communities. The aim of this study was to investigate anthropogenic drivers of urban bird communities in three Portland, Oregon neighborhoods. Focus was given to the conservation value of urban green space and front yard habitat in residential areas. During the 2018 spring breeding season, community-based scientists monitored 56 point count stations across the Hillsdale, Lents and Pearl neighborhoods. Species richness decreased and invasive species became dominant in areas with greater impervious surface cover. The prominence of invasive cavity nesting birds [European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) and House Sparrows(Passer domesticus)] was investigated and shown to predict low abundance of native cavity-nesting birds. This study also found that front yard habitat has conservation potential, as increased front yard foliage height diversity was associated with increases in native species abundance and diversity.

Subjects

Conservation biology, Habitat assessment, Sustainable development

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Providing for birds in our neighborhoods: Relationships between bird communities, front yard habitat, and neighborhood-scale landcover

Urbanization is associated with high levels of anthropogenic disturbance, fragmentation and altered native bird communities. The aim of this study was to investigate anthropogenic drivers of urban bird communities in three Portland, Oregon neighborhoods. Focus was given to the conservation value of urban green space and front yard habitat in residential areas. During the 2018 spring breeding season, community-based scientists monitored 56 point count stations across the Hillsdale, Lents and Pearl neighborhoods. Species richness decreased and invasive species became dominant in areas with greater impervious surface cover. The prominence of invasive cavity nesting birds [European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) and House Sparrows(Passer domesticus)] was investigated and shown to predict low abundance of native cavity-nesting birds. This study also found that front yard habitat has conservation potential, as increased front yard foliage height diversity was associated with increases in native species abundance and diversity.