Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (280 KB bytes)

Title: Seasonal bird use of canopy gaps in a bottomland forest

Author: Bowen, Liessa T.; Moorman, Christopher E.; Kilgo, John C.;

Date: 2007

Source: The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, Vol. 119(1): 77-88

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Bird use of small canopy gaps within mature forests has not been well studied, particularly across multiple seasons. We investigated seasonal differences in bird use of gap and forest habitat within a bottomland hardwood forest in the Upper Coastal Plain of South Carolina. Gaps were 0.13- to 0.5-ha, 7- to 8- year-old group-selection timber harvest openings. Our study occurred during four bird-use periods (spring migration, breeding, postbreeding, and fall migration) in 2001 and 2002. We used plot counts and mist netting to estimate bird abundance in canopy gaps and surrounding mature forest habitats. Using both survey methods, we observed more birds, including forest-interior species, forest-edge species, field-edge species, and several individual species in canopy gap and gap-edge habitats than in surrounding mature forest during all periods. Interactions between period and habitat type often were significant in models, suggesting a seasonal shift in habitat use. Bird activity generally shifted between the interior of canopy gaps and the immediate gap edge, but many species increased their use of forested habitat during the breeding period. This suggests that many species of birds selectively choose gap and gap-edge habitat over surrounding mature forest during the non-breeding period. Creation of small canopy gaps within a mature forest may increase local bird species richness. The reasons for increased bird activity in gaps remain unclear.

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)



Bowen, Liessa T.; Moorman, Christopher E.; Kilgo, John C. 2007. Seasonal bird use of canopy gaps in a bottomland forest. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, Vol. 119(1): 77-88


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.