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Green Roofs Offer a Taste of Home for Birds in Cities

Cara J

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Apart from the usual green spaces, it appears that city birds also appreciate landscaped roofs. A recent study published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin shows how green roofs — tops of buildings partially or completely covered with vegetation — may contribute to habitat for a subset of birds that already occur in urbanized landscapes. “Green roofs can be used as a strategy to increase abundance and diversity of native species throughout urban areas if that is the goal of the local community,” said Carly Eakin, the lead author of the study who worked on the study as a graduate researcher at Michigan State University. Eakin and her team conducted point-count surveys at 12 green roof study locations in the midwestern United States during the bird breeding season in 2010 and 2011. They surveyed birds on building rooftops as well as along the area surrounding the buildings and used that data to estimate the probability of occurrence of the different bird species as well as species richness across roofs. “In general there were way more species and individual birds than we had anticipated,” Eakin said. She even observed white-throated sparrows (Zonotrichia albicollis) on top of a 15-story-high building in Chicago, where [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/green-roofs-offer-a-taste-of-home-for-birds-in-cities/

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