Nesting of Red-Winged Blacbirds in Cattails and Commed Reed Grass in Mentor Harsh

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During summer 1976, a study of habitat selection by the red-winged blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus, was conducted. Mentor Marsh near Mentor, Ohio was chosen because of its unique geologic and botanical history. A swamp forest prior to 1959, the area is now a marsh composed of Typha latifolia, T. angustifolia, and Phragmites australis. Preferences of A. phoeniceus for each of these plants were investigated, and T. latifolia was significantly most chosen. Presumed advantages include rigidity, easy nest accessibility, and wide spacing to facilitate nest defense. Additional features of habitat selected such as available perches, proximity of open water, and edge effect were investigated. If rapid succession to monodominant stands of P. australis continues at the present rate, the nesting red-winged blackbird population may decrease sharply.


Author Institution: Department of Biology, John Carrol University



The Ohio Journal of Science. v80, n1 (January, 1980), 14-19