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Pinyon jay (Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus) nest site selection in central New Mexico: Habitat Data to be used with AICc

Citation

Novak, Michael; Smith, Loren; McMurry, Scott (2020), Pinyon jay (Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus) nest site selection in central New Mexico: Habitat Data to be used with AICc, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.ngf1vhhrd

Abstract

Pinyon Jays (Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus) are experiencing range wide population declines primarily in response to habitat degradation. Studies examining Pinyon Jay nest site selection in pinyon-juniper woodlands would be helpful in determining potential habitat management prescriptions. Therefore, we conducted a nest site selection study in Pinyon Jay breeding habitat in central New Mexico. We compared size and foliage characteristics of pinyon and juniper trees in 42 17.5-m radius plots around Pinyon Jay nests to 41 same-sized vegetation plots in random locations using binomial generalized linear models. The strongest model indicated that Pinyon Jays preferred nesting in areas with fewer dead juniper trees within pinyon-juniper habitats. Furthermore, Pinyon Jays built nests in pinyon and juniper trees with greater height (p < 0.001) and nests were built below the average tree height in the plot (p = 0.001). Results suggest selective cutting of dead juniper and retention of tall, live pinyon or juniper trees may be used in pinyon-juniper woodlands to improve Pinyon Jay nesting habitat in the western United States.

Methods

This data was collected by measuring the length, width, and height of all vegetation over 1m tall in a 17.5m radius around pinyon jay nests as well as a similar number of randomized locations within pinyon-juniper habitat. Anyone looking to process these data should standardize it, then processes it using AICc in R.

Usage Notes

Anyone looking to process these data should standardize it, then processes it using AICc in R.