Population Regulation of Black-throated Blue Warblers

January 1, 2003 by Gregory Gough

small white bird with black throat and blue upperparts

Intensive and long-term studies of black-throated blue warblers at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire reveal a fairly stable population . What keeps them from becoming too numerous or helping them become numerous after a lean year, is of interest to scientists studying how populations regulate themselves and has long-term implications with regard to climate change and habitat destruction.

Studies of this warbler have shown that crowding and site-dependence are two factors that keep their population in check.

The study was begun in 1969 and continues to the present. Such long-term data studies on birds are rare but useful for understanding population changes.

This article summarizes the information in this scientific paper:

Rodenhouse, N. L., Sillett, Terence Scott, Doran, P. J. and Holmes, R. T. 2003. Multiple density-dependent mechanisms regulate a migratory bird population during the breeding season. Proceedings of the Royal Society (London) B, B270: 2105-2110.

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