Caleb E. Gordon
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I used mark-recapture analysis and radio telemetry to characterize winter movement patterns of six grassland sparrows in southeastern Arizona. Mark-recapture data were generated by banding birds captured during repeated flush-netting sessions conducted on a series of 7-ha plots over three consecutive winters. This resulted in 2,641 captures of 2,006 individual sparrows of the six species. Radio telemetry was conducted concurrently on 20 individuals of four of these species. Recapture data and radio telemetry indicated that Cassin's Sparrow (Aimophila cassinii) and Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum) were the most sedentary, followed by Baird's Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii), Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus), Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis), and Brewer's Sparrow (Spizella breweri). Grasshopper, Baird's, Savannah, and Vesper sparrows tended to remain within fixed home ranges during winter. With the exception of Savannah Sparrows, whose movement behavior varied among study sites, movement patterns remained constant within species across years and study sites despite radical fluctuations in the absolute and relative abundances of all species. Interspecific differences in movement pattern suggest that species in this system partition niche space according to the regional-coexistence mechanism. Abundances of the most sedentary species, Cassin's, Grasshopper, and Baird's sparrows, were poorly or negatively correlated with summer rainfall at the between-year landscape scale, whereas abundances of the more mobile Savannah, Vesper, and Brewer's sparrows were strongly positively correlated. This is consistent with the theoretical prediction that movement constrains large-scale habitat selection, favoring mobile species in fragmented environments.

Caleb E. Gordon "MOVEMENT PATTERNS OF WINTERING GRASSLAND SPARROWS IN ARIZONA," The Auk 117(3), 748-759, (1 July 2000). https://doi.org/10.1642/0004-8038(2000)117[0748:MPOWGS]2.0.CO;2
Received: 28 April 1999; Accepted: 1 February 2000; Published: 1 July 2000
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