MS (Master of Science)
Date of Award
Committee Chair or Co-Chairs
Fred J. Alsop III
Thomas F. Laughlin, Istvan Karsai
The Hermit Thrush is a new breeding bird in the Southern Appalachian high-elevation mountains, having expanded its range southward over the last few decades. Here it is sympatric with the Veery, a congeneric breeding resident. In order to more fully understand why the range expansion took place and to understand more about the local ecology of the newly arrived bird, I measured several habitat variables in 30 Hermit Thrush and 24 Veery territories. Principal Components Analysis and Cluster Analysis brought to light several patterns of habitat preferences for these 2 species. Hermit Thrushes prefer territories with more leaf litter on the ground and less shrub density than Veery territories. Competition between these species should remain low, as their niche differences brought to light in this study should enable them to breed in close proximity to each other in these high-elevation mountains.
Thesis - Open Access
Laughlin, Andrew J., "Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) and Veery (C. fuscescens) Breeding Habitat Associations in Southern Appalachian High-Elevation Forests." (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 1695. https://dc.etsu.edu/etd/1695
Copyright by the authors.