Yaukey, P.H., 2018. Bird distribution among marsh types on the northern Gulf of Mexico.
The wetlands bordering the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico are among the most extensive in North America and are among the most threatened. Despite this, little information is available on the distribution patterns of birds across these fresh, intermediate, brackish, and saline marshes. To evaluate the species-specific use patterns of these avian habitats, birds were surveyed in nesting season from 2010 to 2012 along a network of 97 points. Species richness peaked at fresh/intermediate points and numbers of birds detected at saline points. Numbers of most species detected varied across wetland types, with approximately one-half progressively declining with increasing salinity. Marian's Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris marianae) was found at fewer points than expected, suggesting it may be vulnerable. A subsample of points followed from immediately before the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill through 2014 continued to show decreased numbers of detections of a relatively sedentary species, the Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris).