Habitat Usage by Forest Birds in Forest Interiors and Clearcuts: Post-breeding and Migration Periods
Tuesday, February 23, 2010, 11:30 AM (Eastern)
with Scott H. Stoleson, Research Wildlife Biologist, USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station
Concern about declining populations of many birds of mature forest interiors has created opposition to even-aged management on public lands. However, recent work has documented the presence of such birds in regenerating clearcuts in the post-breeding period, but whether such habitat use is commonplace or beneficial is unclear. I’ll present results of our ongoing research comparing rates of habitat usage by forest birds in forest interiors and clearcuts in the post-breeding and migration periods, based on mist-net captures. I will show that the majority of forest interior species occur preferentially in early successional habitats at these times. Further, birds in cuts appear to derive fitness benefits from doing so: on average, they are less likely to have ectoparasites, and generally are healthier than birds in forest interiors. I suggest that early successional habitats created by even-aged forest management may provide a critical resource for many late-successional forest birds.
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