Rainforest birds: A land manager's guide to breeding bird habitat in young conifer forests in the Pacific Northwest

Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5304
Prepared in cooperation with American Bird Conservancy
By:  and 



This document (hereafter Guide) has been prepared to assist land managers interested in conducting conservation and management activities to benefit breeding birds associated with young conifer forests in the Pacific Northwest. Audiences targeted for use of the Guide include land trusts, watershed councils, non-commercial private land owners, forest products companies, land-managing conservation organizations, government agencies, tribes, and First Nations. We hope the Guide will be a useful and valuable tool to support any of the variety of reasons to manage for bird habitat in young conifer forests (for example, regulatory, biodiversity, bird conservation, and forest certification standards).

Information provided in the Guide is intended to support both the development of conservation or management plans and the implementation of on-the-ground management activities that have the potential to benefit breeding bird populations. The degree to which a land manager is willing or able to manage for bird habitat is a decision based on many factors which are beyond the scope of the Guide. We assume users of the Guide already have an interest in managing for bird habitat as one of several objectives that land managers must typically balance. However, it is not our purpose in the Guide to discuss integration of bird habitat management with other management objectives. Our objective is simply to provide those interested in bird conservation with information and recommendations on:

  • the habitat conditions and features needed by breeding bird species, and
  • how breeding bird species respond to particular management activities.

Much of the information on breeding bird habitat is presented in tabular format in the appendices. Because the latitudinal and elevational coverage of the Guide is extensive, there can be considerable variation in the habitat types and conditions with which bird species are associated. Thus, it is important to recognize that the habitat relationships of a species may vary throughout the Pacific Northwest. Information presented in the appendices that categorizes bird-habitat relationships should not be regarded as absolute, but should be used as a tool to help prioritize conservation efforts toward species that have a significant degree of association with habitat parameters, such as forest type or successional stage.

An underlying premise of the Guide is that forest management has a direct and significant influence on bird populations. Consequently, manipulation of forest conditions as part of forest management can be designed and implemented to achieve bird conservation objectives (Busing and Garman, 2002; Lehmkuhl and others, 2002). It is not our intent to describe all the potential forest management activities that could be conducted to achieve the desired habitat conditions for birds. Those need to be determined locally by assessing the most ecologically appropriate management at each site. However, to assist land managers, the Guide offers some basic forest management activities that are widely accepted for achieving habitat conditions and features which benefit breeding birds.

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Rainforest birds: A land manager's guide to breeding bird habitat in young conifer forests in the Pacific Northwest
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2006-5304
DOI 10.3133/sir20065304
Year Published 2007
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Description vi, 60 p.
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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