In eastern North America, after the young fledge, both adult and juvenile mature-forest birds may use regenerating clearcuts, although which species frequent early-successional forest and during which life stages is not well documented. To assess whether birds nesting in mature forest in north-central Minnesota use regenerating clearcuts 2-10 years old, we netted after birds fledged (2006-2009) and during the breeding season (2009). In addition, we monitored Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla) nests and banded nestlings in adjacent mature forest and estimated the age at which juveniles used regenerating clearcuts. While banding, we also recorded nests of any species encountered opportunistically in regenerating clearcuts as evidence of breeding in this cover type. During July and August, we captured 4556 birds of 62 species, of which 1746 (38%) were of 28 mature-forest species. As reported elsewhere, most (76%) mature-forest birds we captured were of only a few species: Ovenbird, American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla), Least Flycatcher (Empidonax minimus), and Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia). In 2009, 21% of captures during the nesting period were of mature-forest birds. Comparing dates of fledging from monitored nests to dates of capture in clearcuts implies that nearly all (95%) hatch-year Ovenbirds using clearcuts were independent of adult care. Capture dates of juveniles of other mature-forest species were similar. Although we captured 340 hatch-year Ovenbirds in regenerating clearcuts, we captured only one of 424 Ovenbirds we had banded as nestlings in adjacent mature forest. Within the clearcuts, we encountered nests of five species that typically nest in mature forest. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2011.
Additional publication details
Use of early-successional managed northern forest by matu reforest species during the post-fledging period