Characteristics of vegetation used by Golden-cheeked Warblers in Central Texas
Authors: A. M. Long , J. C. Newnam , M. R. Colón , K. N. Smith-Hicks and M. L. Morrison
Setophaga chrysoparia (Golden-cheeked Warbler; hereafter Warbler) breeds in oak—juniper woodland across central Texas. Our knowledge of Warbler-habitat associations remains limited to a small number of long-term study sites. However, ecological conditions within Warbler habitat may vary by geographic location. We estimated vegetation characteristics at 24 sites occupied by Warblers and at 80 Warbler nests and compared site and nest vegetation across natural regions. We found differences in vegetation volume at sites and nests across regions. We also found differences across regions in canopy height at sites, but no differences in canopy height at nests. Tree species richness and diversity and the proportion of Juniperus ashei (Ashe Juniper) used by Warblers at sites and nests varied across regions. Our study identifies geographic variation in Warbler habitat characteristics across the species' breeding range.