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PhysOrg

'Mega-fires' may be too extreme even for a bird that loves fire

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Fire is a natural part of western forests, but the changing nature of fire in many parts of North America may pose challenges for birds. One bird in particular, the Black-backed Woodpecker, specializes in using recently-burned forests in western North America, but like humans looking for a new family home, it's picky about exactly where it settles. New research published in The Condor: Ornithological Applications suggests that these birds actually prefer to nest near the edges of burned patches—and these edges are getting harder to find as wildfires have become bigger and more severe.

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