Mark Jordan, PhD
Kristin Hultgren, PhD
The human population is growing, and people are moving to urban areas. As urbanization increases, previously natural landscapes turn into homes and offices. These city dwellers become familiar with the pigeons and crows they regularly see in their cities. In the suburbs, people are familiar with the robins and hummingbirds that visit their backyards. This begs the question, how does urbanization affect avian species richness across different levels of urbanization? How does the composition of avian species change across this urbanization? In order to find out, I conducted a survey of songbird richness, occupancy, and composition along three levels of urbanization: parkland, residential, and commercial in Seattle, Washington. Using standardized point counts and repeated site visits, I surveyed songbirds across Seattle and the surrounding suburbs. I found that parkland sites harbored the most number of species, and commercial sites the fewest. In short, I found that species composition does change across different levels of urbanization. This has implications for how humans should develop land in order to best preserve avian diversity.
"Songbird Occupancy and Species Richness Decline Along an Urban Habitat Gradient in Seattle, Washington,"
SUURJ: Seattle University Undergraduate Research Journal: Vol. 1, Article 10.
Available at: https://scholarworks.seattleu.edu/suurj/vol1/iss1/10