Spring bird migration in Mississippi Alluvial Valley forests

American Midland Naturalist
By:  and 



We surveyed forest songbirds during migration in bottomland hardwood forest stands and managed cottonwood (Populus deltoides) plantations in northeast Louisiana and west-central Mississippi between 24 March and 24 May 1996 and 1997. We detected more bird species in bottomland hardwood stands than in cottonwood stands. Within hardwood stands, we detected more individuals in stands subjected to uneven-aged timber harvest than in unmanaged stands. Early in migration, avian species composition was similar in both forest types, being comprised mainly of short-distance migrants. Bird species composition in these forest types became increasingly disparate as long-distance neotropical-nearctic migrants arrived. Ten bird species were characteristic of bottomland hardwood forests, whereas eight different species were characteristic of managed cottonwood plantations. Because these two forest types supported different bird communities, both forest types provide important inland stopover habitat during migration. Silvicultural management of bottomland hardwood forests that increases their understory vegetation will provide forested habitat for a more species rich and abundant population of songbirds during migration.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Spring bird migration in Mississippi Alluvial Valley forests
Series title American Midland Naturalist
DOI 10.1674/0003-0031(2003)149[0163:SBMIMA]2.0.CO;2
Volume 149
Issue 1
Year Published 2003
Language English
Publisher University of Notre Dame
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 13 p.
First page 163
Last page 175
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