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We compared breeding bird populations and community organization between a beaver pond habitat dominated by willows (Salix spp.) and an adjacent nonwillow riparian habitat on Summit Creek in east-central Idaho. For the previous 14 years both habitats had been protected from livestock grazing by a fenced excloser (122-ha). Bird populations were determined by spot-mapping on 9-ha plots in spring 1989. Structural (physiognomic) differences in vegetation between the two habitats and the availability of impounded water on the beaver pond site were reflected in associated breeding bird populations. Total bird density in the beaver pond habitat was three times that of the adjacent riparian habitat. Similarly, our estimates of total bird biomass, bird species richness, and bird species diversity were 3.49, 3.25, and 1.67 times higher, respectively, in the beaver pond habitat. Further, there were more foraging and nesting guilds represented on the beaver pond plot than esewhere. Our findings suggest that beaver pond ecosystems can provide important habitats for nongame breeding birds.


SuDocs call # A 13.78:INT-432