Survival and behavior of juvenile black-capped vireos (Vireo atricapilla)

Erika M. Dittmar, David A. Cimprich, Jinelle H. Sperry, Patrick J. Weatherhead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Survival estimates for juvenile birds are rarely empirically derived and have been typically estimated as some percentage of adult survival. In particular, little information is available on survival when juveniles are independent of parental care or whether juvenile survival is sex biased. Additionally, little information is available about behaviors of juvenile birds that might be relevant to their survival. From 2010 to 2013, we radio tracked 71 independent juvenile Black-capped Vireos (Vireo atricapilla) in central Texas to estimate their survival and to quantify their behaviors. Using a known-fate model in program MARK, we calculated overall survival during the independent period to be 57% (86% for females and 28% for males). Males moved farther between consecutive locations than females and movement patterns varied substantially among individuals. Both sexes were frequently seen in association with conspecifics and heterospecifics. Half the males we tracked were observed singing, both sexes made many types of vocalizations, and the frequency of vocalizations did not differ between sexes. Whether behavioral differences contributed to survival differences between males and females will require further research. Our results indicate juvenile mortality is likely important for the population dynamics of this species and emphasize the need for studies of juvenile survival across a range of species and regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)775-783
Number of pages9
JournalWilson Journal of Ornithology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2016


  • Black-capped Vireo
  • Vireo atricapilla.
  • fledgling behavior
  • fledgling survival
  • juvenile movements
  • post-fledging
  • radiotelemetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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