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Migratory Birds


Eastern United States (Maine to Florida)

Approximately 80% of eastern forests are privately owned, and these forests are critical for the conservation of migratory bird species. This project is studying the role private working forests play in supporting the conservation of bird species — particularly at-risk species — across large geographic areas. Researchers are mapping the distribution and movement of these migratory songbirds through seasons of breeding, migration, and overwintering.

Project Highlights

  • Key regions and areas – called Bird Concentration Areas (BCAs) – have been defined for groups of species across the full annual cycle. Seasonal BCAs will also be defined. These efforts tell us what the birds are doing, and where they are doing it.
  • Initial assessments have been completed for dozens of species, focusing on USFWS Birds of Conservation Concern and Road to Recovery species. Researchers have defined stages or seasons of behavior with the full annual cycle for each species – spring migration, breeding, fall migration, and wintering.
  • Researchers are identifying areas of high importance, known as “hotspots,” to determine where migratory birds can be found across the region at different times. By estimating the highest percentages and abundance values during breeding, stopover, and wintering seasons, they are creating landscape-level summaries that show the presence of migratory birds across the east coast at any given time and document their reliance on private working forests.

Conservation Success Starts with Keeping Forests Intact

We all have a hand in ensuring conservation of wildlife. When we purchase wood and forest products, we support the sustainable cycle of growing, harvesting and replanting that keeps our forests as forests. Thousands of species call working forests home, and many species thrive in actively managed working forests.