Bayer, M. 1987. An analysis of a guild approach to avian habitat assessment. M.S. Thesis, SUNY-ESF, Syracuse, 100 pp.

Abstract: A habitat assessment procedure for avian species was evaluated in the central Adirondack Mountains of New York. Thirty-three habitat variables and relative abundances for 45 avian species were collected during the summers of 1985 and 1986. Published HSI models for pileated and downy woodpeckers, black-capped chickadee, and veery were field-tested. Discriminant function HSI models which distinguished between optimum, suboptimum and unsuitable habitat were developed for nine avian species. Models were used to predict habitat quality for respective avian foraging-guild members. Actual habitat quality, based on abundance, was compared with predicted habitat quality in order to evaluate the integrity of a guild approach to avian habitat assessment. HSI models forPiciformes inadequately predicted habitat quality (n=28, P>0.0.). The black-capped chickadee modeldistinguished among optimum, suboptimum, and unsuitable habitat (n=28, P>0.05). All discriminantfunction HSI models had > 76% correct classification. HSI models were poor predictors of habitat quality for ubiquitous and uncommon avian guild members. Results suggest guild classification schemes mush correlate with the level of detail associated with the habitat assessment and guilds must be appropriately designated for a given geographic region and cover type.