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Title: A Mobile Aviary Design to Allow the Soft Release of Cavity Nesting Birds
Author: Franzreb, Kathleen E.;
Source: Res. Note SE-5. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station. 4 p.
Publication Series: Research Note (RN)
Description: Translocation of endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers (Picoides boreal is) has been an important component in restoration efforts to establish new populations and enlarge small populations. These efforts-relying on a "hard release" approach whereby the bird is captured, moved, and immediately released at the new site-have met with mixed results. A mobile aviary has been designed with the expectation of improving translocation success for red-cockaded woodpeckers that also can be used for other cavity nesting birds with depleted populations. The mobile aviary allows a "soft" release, in which the bird is moved to the release site and maintained there for a given period of time prior to release. While in the aviary, the individual can become accustomed to the release area, thus increasing the likelihood that it will remain there once released. The aviary consists of a circular metal frame, approximately 5.1 meters (m) high and 4.7 m in diameter, with hardware and shade cloth on the outside. It encompasses a living pine tree with a natural or artificial cavity in the trunk, to be used by the bird for nightly roosting. It has proved to be relatively inexpensive to construct, easily moved, and durable under a range of weather conditions. An evaluation of the mobile aviary in terms of increasing translocation success for the red-cockaded woodpecker is underway at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina.
Keywords: Cavity nesters, endangered birds, mobile aviary, red-cockaded woodpecker.
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Franzreb, Kathleen E. 1997. A Mobile Aviary Design to Allow the Soft Release of Cavity Nesting Birds. Res. Note SE-5. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station. 4 p.
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