Breeding and migratory habitat use in Eastern Whip-poor-will in relation to forest management

Understanding how managed and harvested forests can still provide high-quality habitat for forest birds is key to ensuring both productive forestry operations and sustainable bird populations. We propose to use GPS-tracking technology to study how the Eastern Whip-poor-will (Antrostomus vociferus) uses habitat on its Canadian breeding grounds, during migration, and on the wintering grounds. The Whip-poor-will is designated as Threatened in Canada, and the forestry industry is expected to manage operations to protect Whip-poor-will and its habitat. Forest harvest can maintain the mosaic of open spaces and closed forests that Whip-poor-wills prefer, but detailed information about how these birds use the managed landscape is lacking. The GPS data will allow us to determine timing of use, home range sizes, and how breeding site selection connects to habitat use across the annual cycle. Our results will provide information for more nuanced protection of Whip-poor-will habitat while facilitating productive forestry operations.

Alicia Korpach
Faculty Supervisor: 
Kevin Fraser
Christina Davy
Project Year: