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Early successional forest ecosystems: What we’ve learned about birds and timber harvest practices

Cara J

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I had been walking with a graduate student through second-growth, mature pine forests in the Ouachita Mountains of western Arkansas since sunrise. We were conducting a spring bird survey, stopping and counting birds at marked points along the trail. The dense tree canopy obstructed much of our view, so we identified the birds by their songs and calls. Our routine was to stop for 10 minutes and record the species − an ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla) off in the distance, a few pine warblers (Setophaga pinus) and an occasional tufted titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor). We followed the trail into a young, open clearcut and made our way through the thicket of brush, thorns and tangled vines typically found in these young forest stands. When we got to our final point and began tallying birds, the student, who had no previous survey experience, remarked that he was overwhelmed with the numerous calls and songs from birds all around him. I told him it takes a lot of practice to monitor so many birds at once, so I concentrate on one species at a time, counting how many I hear and noting the direction of each call. Our survey that day was part of [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/early-successional-forest-ecosystems-what-weve-learned-about-birds-and-timber-harvest-practices/

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