Long-term trends of a bird community in an inland pitch pine-scrub oak barrens
Populations of bird species associated with disturbance-dependent vegetation types (e.g., grassland, shrub-scrub, savannas, and early-successional forests) have experienced widespread declines in the eastern United States due primarily to large-scale changes in land use patterns during the previous century. To reverse these declines, state and federal agencies are engaged in management to create and maintain early successional vegetation types. At the Albany Pine Bush Preserve, we are using silvicultural thinning, prescribed fire, mowing, and herbicide to restore and maintain pitch pine-scrub oak barrens that have been degraded by years of fire suppression and species invasions. To understand the effects of this management on the bird community, we are conducting point counts to document changes in abundance and species composition and we are operating two mist-netting stations according to protocols of the monitoring avian productivity and survivorship (MAPS) program to document changes in survival and productivity.