Birds are an important part of the world we live in. They eat pests, disperse seeds, pollinate, feed us, and provide us with activities, such as hunting and bird watching. And, they are beautiful, flying creatures. Who hasn’t wanted to fly like a bird at one time or another?
In the Heartland region of the US there are around 120 different types of birds. Birds are great indicators of local and regional changes in ecosystems. But, many grassland and woodland birds, such as the Northern Bobwhite, are declining in number. Bird numbers are declining for many reasons, such as habitat loss, global warming, wind turbines, and cats.
A change in bird populations may reflect management activities such as restoring and maintaining specific habitats. For that reason the Heartland Network monitors changes in bird populations over time. Thus, improving our understanding of birds and their specific habitat needs.
Monitoring Questions & Approach
- Identify significant temporal changes in composition and abundance of bird communities in 11 parks within the HTLN during the breeding season.
- Improve our understanding of breeding bird habitat relationships and the effects of management actions such as grazing, exotic plant removal and prescribed fire regimes on bird populations, by correlating changes in bird community composition and abundance with changes in habitat variables.