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Conference Paper in Published Proceedings



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We examined differences in microhab- itat use between Boreal (Poecile hudsonicus) and Black- capped chickadees (P. atricapillus) where they co-occur near Marquette, Michigan, USA. Twenty-four Boreal and 37 Black-capped chickadees were followed during 60 hrs of field observation. Boreal Chickadees foraged only in three conifer species, 76% of which were black spruce (Picea mariana), while Black-capped Chickadees foraged widely across six coniferous and three deciduous tree species. Analysis of foraging data categorized by zones within conifer trees indicated high niche overlap (0.676) between Boreal and Black-capped chickadees across all foraging zones. Individual comparisons on a zone-by-zone basis revealed a significant difference in foraging occupancy in the medial portion of the crowns of conifer trees (P 5 0.0002). Our results indicate exclusive use by Boreal Chickadees of dense medial foliage within the top 3 m of conifer crowns.