Title page for ETD etd-11092012-040211

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Pierson, Thomas A.
URN etd-11092012-040211
Title Utilization of natural nest sites by Eastern Bluebirds in southwestern Virginia
Degree Master of Science
Department Fisheries and Wildlife
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Adkisson, Curtis S. Committee Chair
Cross, Gerald H. Committee Member
Scanlon, Patrick F. Committee Member
Tipton, A. R. Committee Member
  • Bird habitat
Date of Defense 1978-11-05
Availability restricted
Eastern Bluebirds (Sialis sialis) were found to be

utilizing natural nest sites in the vicinity of Blacksburg,

Virginia, during 1976 and 1977. Forty-seven natural nest

sites, 37 in fencepost cavities and ten in tree cavities

were discovered by driving roads in rural areas, scanning

fencerows and utility wires with binoculars, and by

searching fencerows on foot. Ninety-one percent of nest

cavities used by bluebirds were made by woodpeckers. Height

of cavity entrance, entrance diameter, and distance from

entrance to cavity bottom were best able to distinguish

anong bluebird fencepost nest cavities, nest demonstration

display sites, and Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) fencepost

nest cavities, using discriminant function analysis. Four

nest cavities used by bluebirds in 1976 were no longer

available in 1977 due to the replacement of fenceposts and

tree limb breakage. No new cavities in fenceposts were observed being excavated by woodpeckers.

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