Summer habitat use by waterbirds and waterfowl at a biosolids facility




Rosson-Singleton, Stephanie

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Wetlands are disappearing at an alarming rate because of agricultural practices and urban and suburban sprawl. Constructed wetlands may counter this loss and are an important resource for the conservation of birds. My study addressed waterbird use of constructed wetlands at a biosolids facility during the summer. I conducted 10-minute observations of foraging, resting, conflict and movement behavior that occurred in 3 different ponds consisting of 1) marsh, 2) shallow mudflat, and 3) open deep water (without vegetation) to determine behavior and habitat use by waterbirds. The null hypothesis for the study was equal use of pond habitat. Waterbirds and waterfowl used pond habitats disproportionately and the null hypothesis was therefore rejected. The marsh pond habitat had the greatest occupancy with 1769 birds seen during the study, highest Simpson’s Index (2.12) and species richness (27 species). Waterbirds and waterfowl used the marsh pond mostly for foraging. Waterbirds and waterfowl used the deep water pond water habitat mostly for movement, and the mudflat pond mostly for resting. Different guild of birds used habitats differently. Atmospheric conditions did not influence waterbird activities. Biosolid facilities provide important habitat for the conservation of waterbirds and waterfowl. Future studies should examine habitat variability within and between seasons for a more comprehensive look at species and habitat use for the entire year. Future studies should also examine the effect of water fluctuations on waterbirds, size requirements, and site fidelity for constructed wetlands.



water birds, waterfowl, sewage lagoons


Rosson-Singleton, S. (2006). Summer habitat use by waterbirds and waterfowl at a biosolids facility (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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