Condor’s Top Cited, #10: Ovenbird Fledgling Survival

We continue our series on our most cited papers from 2014 and 2015 this week with The Condor and the paper Postharvest regeneration, sciurid abundance, and postfledging survival and movements in an Ovenbird population, by S. Haché, E.M. Bayne, and M. Villard.

FIGURE 3. Predicted daily postfledging survival estimates in Ovenbirds as a function of Age and (A) Abundance of red squirrels or (B) Year.

Haché, Bayne, and Villard measured daily postfledging survival and movements in Ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapilla) in plots with selective timber harvests and controls and estimated the population density of two predators, red squirrels and eastern chipmunks. They found that red squirrel abundance decreased survival but did not affect fledglings’ movement rate, suggesting that fledgling Ovenbirds were unable to respond to predation risk. Harvest treatment did not have any significant effects.

These results indicate that for the Ovenbird, a species typically associated with closed-canopy deciduous forest with a relatively open understory, moderate habitat alteration through selection harvesting may not influence survival or movements of fledglings. The authors suggest that future studies should explore effects of landscape configuration on juvenile survival and address the complex relationships between yearly variations in predator abundance and associated trophic cascades. Read the full paper at