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WEC 163: A Bird's-Eye View: How Birds Select Habitat

Figure 3. This is a theoretical representation of a Carolina Wren and a Red-tailed Hawk responding to landscape structures as they search for habitat. The wren searches a tract of land to establish a home range. At the next scale, the wren searches its home range for suitable habitat patches for nesting or foraging for food. Then, within these habitat patches, the wren locates areas where food items (e.g., insects) are abundant. At the smallest scale, the wren searches for food in those habitat patches where food items are abundant. The hawk has a similar set of decisions, but it selects much larger areas and objects at each comparable scale. Notice that the only overlap in scales is at the food patch level for the hawk and at the tract level for the wren.

Credit: Mark E. Hostetler, UF/IFAS