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2 January 2024 A Comparison of Breeding Birds in Central Business Districts of 10 Small Cities and Towns: The Northern Pee Dee Region of the Carolinas
Douglas B. McNair
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I conducted surveys of breeding birds in the central business districts of 10 small cities and towns in the northern Pee Dee region of North Carolina and South Carolina from 13 April to 7 May 2023 (25 consecutive days) to examine if this regional study would be concordant with earlier studies conducted at Rockingham, NC. I used a modification of the spot-mapping method for those I considered common species: if there were 3 or more territories (≥ 3.0 T), I only designated it as 3 territories except for Turdus migratorius (American Robin). I tallied the exact number of territories (= 0.5–2.5 T) for less common species. I documented 32 territorial species (27 native suburban adapters, 5 exotic urban invaders) in the 10 small cities and towns. Average species richness across all towns was 16.4 (min–max = 11–19) and was not correlated with plot size. The most abundant and widespread species were resident habitat generalists (present in every town): 3 suburban adapters (Thryothorus ludovicianus [Carolina Wren], Mimus polyglottos [Northern Mockingbird], and Cardinalis cardinalis [Northern Cardinal]) and 3 urban invaders (Sturnus vulgaris [European Starling], Passer domesticus [House Sparrow], and Haemorhous mexicanus [House Finch]); Zenaida macroura (Mourning Dove) was absent only from downtown Wadesboro. The 13 least common species (5 residents, 8 Neotropical migrants) each had territories in 3 or fewer towns and had fewer than 3 territories in those towns. The 3 other Neotropical migrants (Chaetura pelagica [Chimney Swift], Myiarchus crinitus [Great Crested Flycatcher], and Dumetella carolinensis [Gray Catbird]) nesting on these plots were common species (more abundant and widely distributed). Results from this regional study in 2023 in 1 habitat type were generally concordant with earlier results from Rockingham. Dissimilarities in species composition among towns as measured by pairwise Jaccard distances increased with distance between towns in the northern Pee Dee region. American Robin and Quiscalus quiscula (Common Grackle) continued to be absent from Rockingham in 2023. However, American Robins nested in 7 other towns, and Common Grackles nested in 2 towns (Laurinburg, Maxton); the latter species only nested in colonies in low exotic vegetation.

Douglas B. McNair "A Comparison of Breeding Birds in Central Business Districts of 10 Small Cities and Towns: The Northern Pee Dee Region of the Carolinas," Southeastern Naturalist 22(4), 569-587, (2 January 2024).
Published: 2 January 2024
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