As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Avian ecologists combine bird survey data to ID vulnerable boreal species

11 hours ago

Continent-wide bird surveys play an important role in conservation, says avian ecologist Joel Ralston at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, but they can miss rare or isolated species whose habitat is off the beaten path, such as at high elevation or in a dense bog. Now Ralston and colleagues report for the first time how combining data from several local point counts offers a new picture of how birds in hard-to-reach habitats are faring.

Their analyses of data from 16 point count programs conducted in spruce-fir forests in the Northeast and Midwest show that populations of four  considered ecological indicators for the boreal forest, Bicknell's thrush, yellow-bellied flycatcher, magnolia warbler and blackpoll warbler, are in significant decline. Two other species, the gray jay and evening grosbeak, previously believed not to be of conservation concern, also showed significant declines with this method.

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