Variables associated with nest survival of Golden-winged Warblers (Vermivora Chrysoptera) among vegetation communities commonly used for nesting

Kyle R. Aldinger, Theron M. Terhune, Petra B. Wood, David A. Buehler, Marja H. Bakermans, John L. Confer, David J. Flaspohler, Jeffrey L. Larkin, John P. Loegering, Katie L. Percy, Amber M. Roth, Curtis G. Smalling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Among shrubland-and young forest-nesting bird species in North America, Golden-winged Warblers (Vermivora chrysoptera) are one of the most rapidly declining partly because of limited nesting habitat. Creation and management of high quality vegetation communities used for nesting are needed to reduce declines. Thus, we examined whether common characteristics could be managed across much of the Golden-winged Warbler’s breeding range to increase daily survival rate (DSR) of nests. We monitored 388 nests on 62 sites throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia. We evaluated competing DSR models in spatial-temporal (dominant vegetation type, population segment, state, and year), intraseasonal (nest stage and time-within-season), and vegetation model suites. The best-supported DSR models among the three model suites suggested potential associations between daily survival rate of nests and state, time-within-season, percent grass and Rubus cover within 1 m of the nest, and distance to later successional forest edge. Overall, grass cover (negative association with DSR above 50%) and Rubus cover (DSR lowest at about 30%) within 1 m of the nest and distance to later successional forest edge (negative association with DSR) may represent common management targets across our states for increasing Golden-winged Warbler DSR, particularly in the Appalachian Mountains population segment. Context-specific adjustments to management strategies, such as in wetlands or areas of overlap with Blue-winged Warblers (Vermivora cyanoptera), may be necessary to increase DSR for Golden-winged Warblers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAvian Conservation and Ecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 3 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 by the author(s).


  • Conservation
  • Daily survival rate
  • Management
  • Vegetation


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