Habitat selection and food-web relations of Horned Grebes (Podiceps auritus) and other aquatic birds on constructed wetlands in the Peace Parkland, Alberta, Canada

  • Author / Creator
    Kuczynski, Eva C
  • I investigated if constructed wetlands provide breeding habitat for the Horned Grebe (Podiceps auritus) in northwest Alberta. Over two years, I conducted bird surveys of 201 borrow-pits (ponds created during road construction) and 18 natural wetlands and collected data on local habitat and landscape features. For subsets of ponds, I also collected water chemistry and invertebrate data, and conducted stable isotope analysis. Grebes occurred on 36% of borrow-pits and produced chicks on 61% of occupied sites in 2007 and 81% in 2008. Grebes occurred more frequently on larger ponds, with more emergent vegetation, and avoided forested ponds that supported beaver activity. Horned Grebes are generalist foragers that did not select nesting ponds based on food-web structure. Twenty-six other bird species used borrow-pits, with distinct assemblages occurring on agricultural versus forested ponds. My study indicates that wetland construction offers a viable method for creating habitat for Horned Grebes and other species.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Biological Sciences
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Cynthia Paszkowski (Biological Sciences)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Beverly Gingras (Environment Canada)
    • Lee Foote (Renewable Resources)
    • Suzanne Bayley (Biological Sciences)