Great Basin Naturalist


Bird species density, diversity, and species richness in relation to habitat and seasonal variations were studied in the Betatakin Canyon area of Navajo National Monument, Arizona. The two most prominent habitat types are a riparian forest deep in the canyon bottom and a mature pinyon-juniper woodland on the mesas and slopes above the canyon. One hundred thirty-five species of birds were encountered during the study and recorded by season and habitat. The avifauna assemblages demonstrate definite habitat selection into groups associated with the riparian and pinyon-juniper woodland communities. Diversity, density, and species richness were greatest in the riparian habitat during the spring and summer months. The differences in bird community composition were greater between seasons than between habitats. Pinyon pine and Gambel oak were highly selected as perch sites in the pinyon-juniper and riparian areas, respectively.