U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Urban Naturalist 39 (2021), pp 1-12


U.S. gov't work


Urban areas are highly modified environments that are strongly influenced by a variety of anthropogenic factors. Consequently, these areas contain unique wildlife communities typically dominated by species that are generalist in nature or highly adaptable. We examined the use of five species of exotic treescapes by exotic and native birds in metropolitan areas of Phoenix, Arizona. House Sparrows [Passer domesticus (37%)], European Starlings [Sturnus vulagris (27%)], Mourning Doves [Zenaida macroura (11%)], and Great-tailed Grackles [Quiscalus mexicanus (7%)] were the most frequently observed species during the study. Approximately two-thirds (67%) of the birds observed during the study were exotic species. Avian community composition and diversity associated with these streetscapes varied among the tree species. Growth habits and other characteristics of the trees themselves, in addition to the landscaping components beneath and adjacent to the street trees, influenced bird use of these habitats in this highly urbanized desert environment. Our findings demonstrate that exotic street treescapes might provide some ec ological value to urban birds.