Mélanie Major

Master student
The Influence of Fruit Shrubs on Habitat Selection by Boreal Forest Birds

Université Laval

Directeur: André Desrochers


  • B.Sc. en Foresterie, Aménagement et environnement forestiers, 2003-2007 (Université Laval)

Filet de capture


The post-reproductive period is critical for many forest birds, particularly for juveniles who must learn to forage on their own before the fall migration. At this period, fruit is an abundant resource and many forest birds become mainly frugivores. In managed forests, recent clearcuts attract forest birds potentially for two characteristics: dense cover and an abundance of fruit shrubs. I therefore decided to evaluate the influence of fruit shrubs, particularly of red elder berry (Sambucus pubens), on habitat selection at the Forêt Montmorency at the end of the 2007 breeding period (mid July to mid August). My experimental design had 10 blocks and two treatments within each block: a control plot and a treatment plot where all red elderberry fruit were removed. We used mist nets to passively capture birds in each block (1 block per day). We banded 400 birds and 59% were caught in plots with fruit. At the end of the experiment, red elderberry fruit were completely consumed. These results stress the importance of early successional habitats for many forest birds and thus I recommend that fruit shrubs should be protected when thinning treatments (i.e. precommercial thinning) are applied to these habitats.

Bruant à gorge blanche

Grive à dos olive

Merle d'Amérique

Jaseur d'Amérique

Équipe de baguage

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