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Old 10-25-2011, 11:28 AM   #2
A Bee's Best Friend
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Chicago Illinois USA

Hopefully at least some grassland birds could adapt to feeding and resting in corridors of grasslands along the way. With all the developement in North America it would be hard to expect survival of these birds otherwise. I think predation may be higher in the smaller grassland like areas and so fewer birds successfully completing migration. So many queston to answer...
One of the most interesting findings in the study by Robertson and his colleagues is the suggestion that grassland patch size might be important for migratory grassland birds. Woodland migrants have been more extensively studied than grassland birds, and while the picture is not yet clear, it doesn’t appear that birds that require large woodlands for breeding habitat necessarily require the same for migratory stopover habitats. As an example, a study in eastern South Dakota found that neotropical migrants seemed to use small farmstead woodlots and large Missouri River woodlands interchangeably. Again, there are still lots of questions still to answer (e.g., are there differences in stress levels or weight loss between habitat types?) but that apparent ability for woodland birds to feed and roost in small woodland habitat during migration has important implications for conservation.
"Half Earth Quest" Edward O. Wilson
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