During three winter seasons (1991-1994), we studied the distribution and abundance of birds in three habitat types of the Georgia Piedmont. Bird densities were calculated using data from 2160 variable circular-plot counts, 720 each in the interiors of the three habitats. Habitat variables were measured in 135 0.04-ha circles, 45 in each of the three habitats. The objective was to compare bird densities during winter in the Piedmont?s fragmented mature (60+ yr) pine forests and upland hardwood forests with those in planted pine plantations, a major replacement type. A total of 49 species was detected: 44 in mature pines, 42 in mature upland hardwoods, and 32 in 20-30-yr old pine plantations. Twenty-nine species occurred across all habitats. Overall, density estimates were low and variability among counts was high; consequently, significant (P <0.05) habitat preferences were found for only about 25% of the species. Species richness (S) and diversity (H ) were greatest (P <0.05) in mature pines and lowest (P <0.05) in planted pine plantations. Also, species evenness (E) was higher (P <0.05) in mature pines and upland hardwoods than in planted pine plantations.
Additional publication details
Habitat associations of birds in the Georgia piedmont during winter