Strolling through a Century: Replicating Historical Bird Surveys to Explore 100 Years of Change in an Urban Bird Community.

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    • Abstract:
      In 1898, Herbert and Alice Walter started a 5-year survey of birds in Lincoln Park—the largest park in Chicago, Illinois—and summarized their data in an urban birding field guide, Wild Birds in City Parks. Twenty-nine years later, William Dreuth compared the relative frequency of species in the Walters' study to that in his own 5-year Lincoln Park survey. Between 2012 and 2015, we replicated these surveys to investigate a century of bird diversity and community composition change in urban Chicago. While species richness did not change, community composition did. We found that (1) species with a greater diet breadth and (2) species that increased in statewide occupancy were more likely to increase in frequency over time. We conclude that factors at multiple scales brought temporal changes to Chicago's bird community. Overall, this survey highlights the slow and subtle ways in which species may respond to a century of urban intensification. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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