Prescribed burning may threaten ground nesting birds

the ground in high moisture areas, and the burns presumably dried them out and made them less suitable for nest sites. Hooded warblers typically nest within a few feet of the ground in dense shrub thickets, and the burns eliminated most of these.

The researchers also found that two bird species increased: American robins and eastern wood-pewees (the former went from being rare to being common, and the latter nearly doubled). The researchers frequently observed these birds feeding in burned areas, suggesting that fire improved their foraging habitat.

Artman and her colleagues conclude that long-term or large- scale prescribed burning could change the songbird community in eastern deciduous forests.


Contact: Vanessa Artman
Society for Conservation Biology

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