Neotropical migrant and Chinuahuan desert bird community use of arroyo-riparian habitat and adjacent upland



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Texas Tech University


The Fort Bliss Military Reservation wishes to open the McGregor Missile Firing Range in south-central New Mexico to tracked vehicle maneuvers. The McGregor Range is comprised primarily of Chihuahuan Desert habitat. Arroyos punctuate the Range and provide important riparian stop-over and nesting habitat for migratory and resident birds. In this study, I determine the use of arroyo-riparian and surrounding upland habitat by both Neotropical migrants and resident breeding species, on the McGregor Missile Firing Range, Fort Bliss, Texas, in 1993 and 1994.

I sampled migrating birds using mist-nets during March and April, and surveyed breeding birds using variable circular plot point counts during May and June, 1993 and 1994. I conducted nest searches during May and June, and sampled vegetation at bird survey points, nest sites and non-use nest sites. I evaluated the relationship between bird species diversity, species richness, and bird density with structural diversity of the vegetation as well as individual shrub species. I also compared vegetation between use and non-use nest sites to determine differences among macrohabitats.