Feb. 25, 2013 — According to a study by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), impacts to bird communities from a single rural, "exurban" residence can extend up to 200 meters into the surrounding forest. The study also determined that sensitive bird species such as the hermit thrush and scarlet tanager prefer unbroken forests with no houses. Others, like the blue jay and black-capped chickadee, seem to like having, and often thrive with, human neighbors.
As part of the study, scientists sampled the presence of 20 species of birds both near and far from 30 rural residences in the
. Calculating their occurrence at
increasing distances from the residences, they determined that
"human-adapted" species are 36 percent more likely to occur near the
homes than in the surrounding mixed hardwood-conifer forests, and that
"human-sensitive" species were 26 percent less likely. Beyond 200
meters, occupancy rates were similar to the surrounding forest. Adirondack Park
The report appears in the current online edition of the Journal of Landscape and Urban Planning. Authors of the study are Drs. Michale Glennon and Heidi Kretser of the Wildlife Conservation Society.