Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Archilochus colubris, Entanglements in Burdock, Arctium spp., at Delta Marsh, Manitoba

Heather L. Hinam, Spencer G. Sealy, Todd J. Underwood

Abstract


Exotic burdock (Arctium spp.) pose a risk of mortality for small native birds, such as the Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris), which may become entangled in its burrs. At Delta Marsh, Manitoba, we found 11 hummingbirds and five individuals of four species of songbirds entangled on burdock in the dune-ridge forest over a 20-year period. Entangled birds were mostly migrants. Most hummingbirds caught were juvenile males, whereas the few songbirds were mostly adult males. We suspect that hummingbird entanglements resulted from an attraction to the purple flowers of burdock, but aggressive interactions with conspecifics and other factors may have been involved. Birds may be at a higher risk of entanglement at important migratory stopover sites, such as Delta Marsh, where both burdock and large numbers of birds are concentrated in a small area.

Keywords


exotic plants; burdock; Arctium spp.; fatal entanglement; Ruby-throated Hummingbird; Archilochus colubris; passerines; mortality; Delta Marsh; Manitoba

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22621/cfn.v118i1.887



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