The Use of a Forest Canopy Walkway for Studying Habitat Selection by Neotropical Migrants


neotropical migrants
resident birds
temperate forest canopy
strata utilization
aerial walkway

How to Cite

Rinker, H. B. (2001). The Use of a Forest Canopy Walkway for Studying Habitat Selection by Neotropical Migrants. Selbyana, 22(1), 89–96. Retrieved from


Birds are part of a three-dimensional matrix of interactions within the forest and often act as biological indicators of ecological stress. Because of the heights of temperate trees and the vertical complexities of forest ecosystems, however, our knowledge of bird ecology has been largely ground-based. Mist-netting provides useful data for forest conservation, but this census tool historically has ignored the use by migratory songbirds of woodland resources more than 3 meters above ground (the height of a typical mist-net). To examine stratification of neotropical migrants, this study uses a forest canopy walkway and aerial mist-nets (with ground replicates and other nets placed in nearby habitats) in New York State's Mid-Hudson Valley. The analysis is then related to forest conservation issues. Preliminary work shows stratification among some songbirds, especially when compared to a previous canopy mist-netting study in Massachusetts. Results suggest that these migrants play a valuable role in the biointegrity of temperate forest ecosystems.


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