Breeding bird populations were sampled between 1954 and 1963, and 1990 and 2000 in an old-growth forest, the Natural Area of Huntington Wildlife Forest (HWF), in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Trends were compared with data from regional North American Breeding Bird Surveys (BBS) and from a forest plot at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, New Hampshire. Trends for 22 species in the HWF Natural Area were negative, eight were positive, and one was zero; 20 were significant. Fifteen of 17 long-distance migrants declined, whereas 7 of 14 short-distance migrants and permanent residents declined. Most (74%) HWF Natural Area species, despite differences in sampling periods and local habitat features, matched in sign of trend when compared to Adirondack BBS routes, 61% matched northeastern BBS routes, and 71% matched eastern United States BBS routes, while 66% matched Hubbard Brook species. The agreement in population trends suggests that forest interior birds, especially long-distance migrants, are affected more by regional than local factors. The analysis indicated that bird trends generated from BBS routes may not be as biased toward roads as previously suggested.
Additional publication details
Long-term trends in breeding birds in an old-growth Adirondack forest and the surrounding region