Use of regenerating clearcuts by late-successional bird species and their young during the post-fledging period

Matthew R. Marshall, Jennifer A. DeCecco, Alan B. Williams, George A. Gale, Robert J. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


From 1995 to 1999, we mist-netted birds in regenerating clearcuts within a primarily forested landscape of West Virginia and Virginia to determine the extent that both resident and migrant birds and their young use this type of early-successional habitat during the post-fledging period. Our primary objective was to document whether or not birds typically considered mature or late-successional forest breeders were present in the clearcuts and if they were there with their young. Four mist-nets were located in each of six different forest clearcuts ranging in age from 1 to 7 years post-cut (at time of study initiation) and in size from 8.2 to 13.4 ha. We caught 613 adult birds and 206 juvenile birds of 46 different species within these six different sites. Species typically associated with mature forest, such as the Worm-eating Warbler (Helmitheros vermivorus), Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus), Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia), Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina), and Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus) were among the most commonly captured (adults, juveniles, and family groups). Seven Worm-eating Warblers originally color-banded on territories in adjacent mature forest were recaptured in clearcuts during the post-fledging period, four with dependent young. Although it was apparent that both the adults and young of species of forest-interior breeders were using regenerating clearcuts during the post-fledging period, we are unsure as to the exact reasons why, and, more importantly, whether these habitats enhance their survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-135
Number of pages9
JournalForest Ecology and Management
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Sep 15 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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