Songbirds in managed and non-managed savannas and woodlands in the central hardwoods region
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In: Dey, Daniel C.; Stambaugh, Michael C.; Clark, Stacy L.; Schweitzer, Callie J., eds. Proceedings of the 4th fire in eastern oak forests conference; 2011 May 17-19; Springfield, MO. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-102. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 159-169.
We know little about the response of birds to savanna and woodland restoration in the Ozarks or how important such habitats are to birds of conservation concern. Bird species such as red-headed woodpecker, prairie warbler, field sparrow, and blue-winged warbler are species of regional concern, and declines of these species may be due to historical declines in savannas and woodlands. Our objective was to compare abundance of focal bird species between sites managed to restore savanna or woodland conditions and forested sites with no restoration management in the Ozark Highlands of Missouri and Arkansas during the breeding season. We consulted with local resource managers to identify sites they considered good examples of savanna or woodland restoration (managed sites) and also selected nearby stands on similar landforms that had no recent management (non-managed sites) and had succeeded to closed-canopy forest. We conducted 9 to 15 point counts along randomly located transects within these sites in 2007 and 2008. For species with >50 detections, we estimated density using distance sampling surveys, and for species with fewer detections we report the mean number of detections/point as an index of abundance. We conducted 260 surveys at managed sites and 244 at non-managed sites. Blue-winged warbler, eastern towhee, eastern wood-pewee, field sparrow, prairie warbler, and summer tanager were more abundant in managed sites whereas Acadian flycatcher, and worm-eating warbler were more abundant in non-managed sites. Abundance of blue-winged warbler, field sparrow, and prairie warbler decreased with canopy cover while Eastern towhee and summer tanager reached their greatest abundance in intermediate canopy cover. Eastern wood-pewee and prairie warbler were the most abundant breeding birds with 0.22 and 0.15 singing males/ha, respectively. Savannas and woodlands provide habitat for an interesting mix of grassland-shrub and canopy nesting birds that are of high conservation concern.
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Thompson, Frank R. III; Reidy, Jennifer L.; Kendrick, Sarah W.; Fitzgerald, Jane A. 2012. Songbirds in managed and non-managed savannas and woodlands in the central hardwoods region. In: Dey, Daniel C.; Stambaugh, Michael C.; Clark, Stacy L.; Schweitzer, Callie J., eds. Proceedings of the 4th fire in eastern oak forests conference; 2011 May 17-19; Springfield, MO. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-102. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 159-169.