A Change Can Do You Good? The Adaptability of Three Forest Birds to the Moose-browsed Grassland of Cape Breton Highlands National Park
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Bird Studies Canada (BSC) found that Blue-headed Vireo (BHVI) (Vireo solitarius), Yellow-bellied (YBFL) (Empidonax flaviventris), and Black-and-white Warbler (BAWW) (Mniotilta varia) showed no preference for forest amongst the moose-browsed grassland of North Mountain, Cape Breton Highlands National Park (CBHNP). We used point-counts and forest vegetation metrics from remote sensing data to test whether expanding the scale of vegetation characterization around point locations would increase the association of these songbirds to forest. We used song modes to determine BAWW pairing success in the grassland as well as vegetation sampling to identify differences between paired and unpaired territories. Results showed more unpaired males, weak evidence of differences between the song modes between paired and unpaired BAWW males, as well as no differences in habitat quality. BHVI and BAWW showed seven significant relationships to forest in some years, but overall there was high between-year variation for all the three species.