During the period of October to April of the winter of 1950-51, an ecological study was undertaken of a population or passerine birds wintering in a segment of the Utah Lake Shore. Available winter weather data indicated that although such factors as precipitation, temperature, and wind may often be severe, they are not critical enough to prevent a fairly large population of passerine birds from spending the winter months in the study locale. Five fairly distinct plant communities can be recognized in the area. There is evidence which indicates that certain passerine bird species are especially dependent on a particular type or types of vegetation. The plant communities produce ample amounts of food to meet the requirements of wintering birds. It was found that nine passerine species play an important part in the natural economy of this area in winter. Such species as the song sparrow and marsh wren are relatively stable in their numbers and occurrence, and have number per hour ratings which are significant. Other birds, among them the redwing and crow occur here in great numbers but fluctuate widely in day by day totals. Their number per hour ratings are comparatively meaningless as an index to relative numbers, but are significant in that they indicate different modes of habit of these birds. The thesis is intended to be a contribution to our knowledge of the wintering habits of perching birds in lakeside areas or central Utah.
College and Department
Plant and Wildlife Sciences
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Murphy, Joseph R., "Ecology of Passerine birds wintering at Utah Lake" (1951). Theses and Dissertations. 7834.
Birds, Utah; Ecology, Utah