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Annual survival, site fidelity, and longevity in the eastern coastal population of the Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris)
- Sykes, Paul W., Freeman, Mary C., Sykes, Joan J., Seginak, John T., Oleyar, M. David, Egan, Joshua P.
- TheWilson journal of ornithology 2019 v.131 no.1 pp. 96-110
- Passerina ciris, adults, birds, breeding, breeding season, coastal plains, coasts, conservation areas, estuaries, females, human development, islands, latitude, longevity, males, mortality, philopatry, trade, trapping, Southeastern United States
- A long-term study of annual survival, longevity, and site fidelity in the eastern coastal population of the Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) during the breeding season was conducted from 1999 through 2018 in the outer coastal plain of the Atlantic coast of the United States. Painted Buntings were uniquely color-banded from 1999 through 2003 at 40 study sites paired at 20 locations from southeastern NC south to northeastern FL. Survival analysis used capture histories through 2005 for 994 birds banded as hatch-year and 2,420 birds banded as post-hatch-year (adults). Annual estimates of apparent survival (1999-2004) averaged 0.71 and 0.66 for adult males and females, respectively, and 0.33 for hatch-year birds. We did not find evidence that survival differed in relation to latitude or extent of human development near study sites, although estimates for adult females were higher for birds banded on sheltered islands compared to the mainland. Expected time in the population, based on estimated survival, was 3.9 and 3.4 years for adult males and females, respectively. The oldest observed birds were a 14-year-old male observed in June 2016 at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, GA, the site at which he had been banded in July 2003 as a second-year bird, and a 13-year-old male seen at Ft. George Island, FL, in June 2016, 2 km across a tidal estuary from the site where the bird was banded in August 2003 as hatch-year. The males were sighted at these 2 sites in 9 and 11 different years, respectively. Overall, 78% (males) and 81% (females) of resightings and recaptures of birds banded as adults occurred at the same study site where individuals were banded, compared to 59% (males) and 60% (females) of birds banded as hatch-year. Known mortalities of banded buntings included 9 birds trapped for the caged-bird trade. This study shows the potential for high survival and longevity in the eastern coastal population of the Painted Bunting, and given evidence of high site fidelity in the breeding range, the vulnerability of the population to human development along the southeastern US coast as well as to illegal trapping.