Birdlife of the Gulf of Mexico

Front Cover
Texas A&M University Press, Jan 2, 2018 - Nature - 776 pages
The Gulf of Mexico is one of the most important ecological regions in the world for birds. The mosaic of diverse habitats in the region provides numerous niches for birds. There are productive salt marshes, barrier islands, and sandy beaches for foraging and nesting; a direct pathway between North and Central and South America for migrating; and warm, tropical waters for wintering. Many species are residents all year around, some migrate through, and still others spend the winter along the shores. The Gulf Coast is home to a significant portion of the world’s population of Reddish Egret and Snowy Plover and a significant portion of the US breeding populations of certain birds, including the Sandwich Tern, Black Skimmer, and Laughing Gull. In total, there are more than 400 bird species that rely on the Gulf at some time during the year.

Drawing on decades of fieldwork and data research, renowned ornithologist and behavioral ecologist Joanna Burger provides detailed descriptions of birdlife in the Gulf of Mexico. Burger records trends in bird population, behavior, and major threats and stressors affecting birds in the region, including the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. While some of this data exists in journal articles, research papers, and government reports, this is the first volume to weave together a comprehensive overview of the birds and related natural resources found in the Gulf of Mexico.

Illustrated with over 900 color photographs, charts, and maps, this landmark reference volume will be immensely important for researchers, conservationists, land managers, birders, and wildlife lovers.
 

Contents

11 Objective of the Book
5
12 Approach
9
Laws Regulations andState Designations
16
The LandWater Interface
21
32 Birds of the Gulf of Mexico as a Whole
26
33 The Southern Gulf of Mexico Avian Community
35
331 Importance of the Gulf Coast to Mexican ornithology
36
332 Southern Tamaulipas and Veracruz
39
6225 Black Skimmer Rhynchops niger
374
6226 Redeyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus
383
6227 Swainsons Thrush Catharus ustulatus
388
6228 Wood Thrush Hylocichla mustelina
391
6229 Seaside Sparrow Ammodramus maritimus
398
Comparisons among Indicator Species
403
72 Breeding Bird Surveys of Galveston Bay Texas 19731990
405
73 Breeding Bird Surveys of Estero Bay Florida 19772011
407

333 The Yucatán Peninsula
42
334 Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve RAMSAR site
46
335 Campeche Bank
54
The Eastern Gulf of Mexico
58
342 Breeding birds and endemics
60
343 Migrants
62
344 Guanahacabibes Peninsula
65
345 Threats to birds in Cuba
71
Avian Uses of LandWater Interfaces
74
42 Temporal and Spatial Constraints
76
421 Spatial gradients from open water to uplands in the Gulf of Mexico
77
422 Habitat availability
78
4221 Habitats available aroundthe Gulf of Mexico
79
4222 Land cover
93
4223 Bird needs and habitat availability
95
423 Habitat suitability
99
424 Habitat use
103
425 Mobility foraging distanceand habitat use
113
Factors Affecting Avian Populations
115
51 Habitat Loss
116
511 Louisiana
117
512 Chenier forests
119
513 Laguna Madre of Texas and Tamaulipas
122
514 Freshwater wetlands in Cuba
123
522 Animals
126
53 Foraging and Food Resources
129
54 Tides
141
55 Storms Hurricanes and Other Weather Events
143
551 Seasonal weather patterns
144
553 Cumulative effects
147
56 Predation Competition and Other Social Interactions
153
562 Competition
157
57 Parasites and Diseases
162
572 Viruses
164
573 Botulism
167
574 Other toxins and climate change
168
582 Burning and terracing
170
583 Forestry agriculture and aquaculture
171
584 Buildings
173
59 Human Activities
174
510 Pollution
182
5101 Heavy metals
183
5102 Organics
188
5103 Oil
190
5104 Plastics and artefacts
195
5105 Overall pollution in the northern Gulf
197
511 The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
199
512 Climate Change SeaLevel Rise and Land Subsidence
210
Status of Indicator Species in the Gulf of Mexico
217
62 Indicator Species Accounts
223
622 Mottled Duck Anas fulvigula
227
623 Common Loon Gavia immer
233
624 American Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber
236
625 Magnificent Frigate bird Fregata magnificens
244
626 Northern Gannet Morus bassanus
250
627 Doublecrested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus
255
628 Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis
261
629 Great Egret Ardea alba
273
6210 Snowy Egret Egretta thula
281
6211 Reddish Egret Egretta rufescens
287
6212 White Ibis Eudocimus albus
295
6213 Roseate Spoonbill Platalea ajaja
301
6214 Osprey Pandion haliaetus
309
6215 Clapper Rail Rallus crepitans
316
6216 Whooping Crane Grus americana
319
6217 American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliates
327
6218 Snowy Plover Charadrius nivosus
332
6219 Piping Plover Charadrius melodus
337
6220 Willet Tringa semipalmatus
341
6221 Red Knot Calidris canustus rufa
346
6222 Laughing Gull Leucophaeus atricilla
354
6223 Least Tern Sternula antillarum
364
6224 Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus
368
74 Timing of Incubation of Seabirds in the northern Gulf
409
75 Timing of Breeding Habitat and Population Trends of Indicator Birds in Cuba
410
76 Beach Surveys of Waterbirds on Mustang Island 19792007
412
77 Avian Use along Shores of Mississippi and Alabama 20102011
415
78 Seasonal Use on San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge Texas 19851991
417
79 Habitat Use of Laguna Madre Texas 19911993
418
710 Winter Habitat Use of Isles Dernieres Barrier Island Refuge Louisiana 20102012
421
711 Winter Distribution of Indicator Species in Mississippi and Florida
423
Indicator Species Groups and Unique Resources
426
811 Baseline continental shelf aerial surveys in 1979 and 19801981
430
812 Cruise surveys in the northern Gulf in the mid1980s
437
814 Summary of pelagic seabird use of the northern Gulf of Mexico
439
815 Baseline information for coastal nesting seabirds US Fish and Wildlife Service data 1982
440
82 Migratory Hawks
445
a different method of monitoring
446
823 VeracruzRiver of Raptors
448
824 Standardization of hawk counts
449
826 The eastern migration route Florida Keys
453
827 Peregrine Falcons
455
83 Wintering Waterfowl
457
832 Habitat use
459
833 Status and trends
462
84 Migratory and Wintering Shorebirds
467
841 Declining numbers are cause for concern
468
842 Critical stopover areas and habitat use
469
843 Shorebird diversity and abundance around the Gulf
472
844 Shorebirds along the northern Gulf Coast
473
845 Shorebirds along the southern Gulf Coast especially the Yucatán
475
846 Refueling and fat stores at stopover sites
478
847 Migration routes
479
848 Shorebirds and global warming
481
851 Turnover rates in colonialnesting birds in Louisiana
483
852 Colonial birds that nest in BaratariaTerrabonne Estuary Louisiana
484
853 Colonial birds that nest in Galveston Bay Texas
485
854 Breeding waterbirds in Laguna de Tamiahua and Pueblo Viejo Veracruz Mexico
488
855 Seasonal use of beaches in Mississippi and Alabama
491
856 Effects of inland crayfish aquaculture on population trends of wading birds in Louisiana
492
86 NearcticNeotropical Migrants Mainly Passerines
495
861 NearcticNeotropical migrantswho are they?
498
862 Weather and migration triggers
503
863 Migratory patterns and routes
504
864 Habitat selection
509
865 Role of body condition
516
866 Habitat sources and sinks
520
868 Passage mortality
523
87 Neotropical Migrants on Energy Platforms in the Gulf
524
871 Goals and approaches
525
873 Indicator species
526
874 Species recorded on and around platforms
527
88 Changes in Populations Audubon Christmas Counts
531
882 Shifts toward the poles in winter ranges of birds
535
810 Indicators for the northern Gulf Coast and the Yucatán Peninsula after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
536
811 eBird as a Citizen Science Approach to Avian Use of the Gulf of Mexico
538
8112 Frequency and peak counts for indicator species on the northern and southern Gulf
541
The Future
557
91 Understanding Health of Populations
559
92 Hazards Stressors and Risks
562
93 Adaptive Management
563
931 Management options for conserving pelagic coastal and aquatic populations
572
932 Management options for conserving NearcticNeotropical migrant populations
579
933 Monitoring and evaluation
582
Louisianas Master Plan
583
935 Research as a component of management
585
94 Patterns of Population Changes
592
95 Recovery and Population Dynamics
602
96 Facing the Future
609
97 Summary of Birds in the Gulf of Mexico
612
Appendix
617
References
649
List of Tables
707
Index
709
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About the author (2018)

JOANNA BURGER is an internationally renowned ornithologist and behavioral ecologist. She is distinguished professor of biology at Rutgers University and the author and editor of several books, including The Parrot Who Owns Me and Birds: A Visual Guide.

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