Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Herbert Shadowen, K.A. Nicely, Rudolph Prins

Degree Program

Department of Biology

Degree Type

Master of Science


Blackbird and Starling roosts of the 1979-80 winter season were observed in order to obtain as much information as possible concerning roosts in this area. Five species were found to comprise the local roosts: The Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula), Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater), Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus), and the Starling (Sturnus vulgaris).

Seven categories of activities were observed in roost species: predeparture vocalizations; predeparture staging; roost departure; daily activities; roost return; preroost staging; and settlement into the roost. The Common Grackle appeared to be the species around which the activities of the other species were patterned.

Light experiments conducted on Starlings in a barn on the Western Kentucky University farm had no effect on bird movements within the barn. As ambient temperatures decreased, the number of birds in the barn increased, thus revealing the Starling's high adaptability as a species.


Biology | Life Sciences

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