Seasonal roosts of Red-lored Amazons in Ecuador provide information about population size and structure

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ABSTRACT Data from roosts of Amazona parrots may be useful in creating demographic models, because these birds exhibit high roost fidelity and pairs are conspicuous in flight. However, few investigators have attempted to track changes in the number of pairs using such roosts. We studied Red-lored Amazons (Amazona autumnalis) at a communal roost in southwest Ecuador over a 1-yr period to understand better their population structure. Population size was estimated at 214 individuals. Counts revealed seasonal variation in numbers, but the occurrence of pairs and singles was seldom correlated. The number of paired individuals using the roost was lower during the breeding period. In contrast, the number of single birds at the roost nearly doubled during the breeding period. Overall, our data suggest that parental responsibilities during the nesting period explain fluctuations in the number of birds at the roost, and such fluctuations can be used to estimate the reproductive portion of the population. Protection of the small mangrove islands where the parrots roost would likely benefit a population that occupies a much larger area and would, at the same time, provide a useful tool for demographic studies of this poorly known neotropical parrot.



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Journal of Field Ornithology