Biogeographic variation in nest placement: A case study with conservation implications

Jennifer M. Parody*, Timothy H. Parker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Local habitat characteristics are often used to describe a species' niche despite the fact that habitat use can vary across the geographical range. We sought to quantify variation in habitat preferences by asking how nesting habit varies within and between populations of Bell's vireo (Vireo bellii) across its geographical range. Analyses of detailed nest placement data from three localities (Kansas, eastern New Mexico and western New Mexico) showed a general trend towards use of dense vegetation. However, there was substantial variation in nest placement and vegetation at nest sites between localities. Furthermore, a review of nest placement data from the literature shows strong differences in nest heights and species of trees even between populations less than 100 km apart. We evaluate these results in light of conservation and suggest that to be most effective, habitat conservation plans should be based on data collected at the locality where the population of interest occurs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-19
Number of pages9
JournalDiversity and Distributions
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Bell's vireo
  • Conservation management
  • Geographical range
  • Habitat requirements
  • Nest placement
  • Niche


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