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Some Adaptations of Marsh-Nesting Blackbirds. (MPB-14), Volume 14

Gordon H. Orians

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Princeton University Press img Link Publisher

Naturwissenschaften, Medizin, Informatik, Technik / ÷kologie


The variety of social systems among the New World blackbirds (Family Icteridae) and the structural simplicity of their foraging environment provide excellent opportunities for testing theorics about the adaptive significance of their behavior. Here Gordon Orians presents the results of his many years of research on how blackbirds utilize their marsh environments during the breeding season. These results stem from information he gathered on three species during ten breeding seasons in the Pacific Northwest, on Red-winged blackbirds during two breeding seasons in Costa Rica, and on three species during one breeding season in Argentina.

The author uses models derived from Darwin's theory of natural selection to predict the behavior and morphology of individuals as well as the statistical properties of their populations. First he tests models that predict habitat selection, foraging behavior, territoriality, and mate selection. Then he considers some population patterns, especially range of use of environmental resources and overlap among species, that may result from those individual attributes. Professor Orianns concludes with an overview of the structure of bird communities in marshes of the world and the relation of these patterns to overall source availability in these simple but productive habitats.

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Predation, Cowbird, Dytiscidae, Canary grass, Leafhopper, Avian clutch size, Wood stork, Larva, Lepidoptera, Sparrow, Bird nest, Aquatic insect, National Wildlife Refuge, Eric Charnov, Parasitism, Unicoloured blackbird, Ovenbird (family), Dragonfly, Tricolored blackbird, Typha, Habitat destruction, Local extinction, Pterophoridae, Bulrush, Damselfly, Grebe, Intraspecific competition, Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, Insect, Springtail, Bird, Curve-billed reedhaunter, Yellow-headed blackbird, Scarlet-headed blackbird, Optimal foraging theory, Icterid, Baltimore oriole, Orthoptera, Warbler, Fly, Shiny cowbird, Noctuidae, Red-winged blackbird, Great reed warbler, Vegetation, Chopi blackbird, Ecology, Arthropod, Marsh wren, Mayfly, Lestidae, Robert T. Paine (zoologist), Odonata, Mealworm, Wren-like rushbird, Saffron-cowled blackbird, Waterfowl, Passerine, Prairie Peninsula, Yellow-winged blackbird, Tit (bird), Brood parasite, Phalaris arundinacea, Foraging, Central place foraging, Invertebrate, Common carp, Gomphidae, Wildlife refuge, Yellowhead (bird)