National atlas of coastal waterbird colonies in the contiguous United States: 1976-82.
Spendelow, J.A.; Patton, S.R.
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This report contains information on the coastal breeding distribution and abundance in the contiguous United States of 56 species (and the Great White Heron, now considered a subspecies of the Great Blue Heron) of colonially nesting waterbirds in the orders Procellariiformes, Pelecaniformes, Ciconiiformes, and Charadriiformes. The primary source of population data was a series of regional atlases of coastal waterbird colonies published (or being published) by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in its former FWS/OBS series, now renamed the Biological Report series. Other data were gleaned from the literature and from survey results published by other Federal, State, and private organizations and individuals. In many instances the summaries presented here constitute the first attempt to provide a nationwide overview of the coastal breeding populations of some of these species. We also have provided a general review of the nesting habitat use and have tried to indicate, where appropriate, geographical variation in habitat choice or use by each species. For each species discussed, this report contains a map showing the abundance of the species in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 1:250,000-scale coastal map regions. For all but five of the species, it contains a population summary table and a colony-size frequency distribution table. For each state and coastal map region, the tables provide the estimated number of nesting birds and the number of colony sites censused. Mean colony size and colony-size frequency data are also provided on a state-by-state basis. Also discussed are regional differences, and in some cases state or subregional differences, in colony size.