The USDA Forest Service (FS) manages 191 million acres in
44 states, comprising the largest amount of breeding bird
habitat under one ownership in the United States. With an
understanding that forest management practices can have a
significant impact on "area sensitive forest interior"
migratory bird species, the Forest Service strives to ensure
the health and diversity of ecosystems while meeting people's
needs. Neotropical migratory bird management is being actively
integrated into forest management planning and implementation.
The FS conducts a variety of surveys to identify downward
population trends; implements actions to reverse these trends;
restores and protects key habitats; conducts inventories and
long-term population trend monitoring; addresses fragmentation
issues; and implements management practices targeted at habitat
features limiting bird populations.
In 2015, across National Forest System lands, the Forest Service treated 1.89 million acres of terrestrial habitat, 305 miles of stream habitat, and 7,361 acres of lake habitat to enhance bird habitats. Bird inventories and monitoring activities occurred on approximately 850,000 acres of National Forest System lands.
Numerous monitoring efforts are underway in each of the Forest
Service's nine regions. Eight out of nine regions have developed
regional monitoring plans that are in various stages of implementation.
There is high involvement in national programs such as Monitoring
Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS), Breeding Bird
Surveys (BBS), and a growing interest in nest surveys (BBHD).
Point count methodology is being used in many places to monitor
bird populations in particular areas or to answer specific
management questions. Bird monitoring is only one aspect of
overall monitoring and inventory of habitat conditions, biodiversity,
and forest plan implementation.
The FS is also actively engaged in a broad array of research
efforts regarding neotropical migrant birds. Some of these
efforts include examining the impacts of cowbird parasitism,
logging, grazing, fragmentation and burning on neotropical
migrants. Additional efforts are aimed at investigating ecosystem
processes and functions within a complete watershed perspective.
Information and Education
The development of educational modules, symposia, slide shows,
interpretive viewing sites, publications, and displays are
but a few of the many information and education-related activities
of the FS. The Agency is also an active participant in the
celebration of International
Migratory Bird Day through the hosting of festivals, tours,
and bird counts.
The international arena plays host to numerous FS partnership
activities. Training and internship programs in Mexico have
enjoyed particular success, as have the "Sister Forest"
relationships between national forests and similar administrative
units in Mexico, Costa Rica, Argentina, and Jamaica, and Panama.
All of these efforts provide for both technical and information
exchange among partners.
Contact for the Forest Service Neotropical Migratory Bird Program
Washington Office - Oversight
Sandy Boyce, National Wildlife Ecologist; Wildlife Ecology Unit Leader
USDA Forest Service
Branch Office - Denver
American Birding Association
Canadian Bird Trends
Laboratory of Ornithology
- Bird Songs
- Project Feeder Watch
- And much more!
Bird Day (hosted by ABA)
Non-game Birds of Management Concern - Current List (FWS;
updated from 1987)
National Audubon Society
North American Bird Conservation
Watch List (List of North American bird species needing help. Provides conservation priority by species and varied bird biology information)
Partners In Flight
Partners In Flight
(USGS - National Biological Service)
Partners In Flight (US Fish & Wildlife Service - General Information)
Migratory Bird Center (migratory bird biology)
Program Initiatives (previously 'Get Wild!')
Ecology and Management of Neotropical Migratory Birds:
A Synthesis & Review of Critical Issues. Edited by
Thomas E. Martin & Deborah M. Finch
[Forest Service] online & downloadable
Strategic Plan (pdf - 6.5MB)
American Landbird Conservation Plan
Management of Agricultural Landscapes for the Conservation
of Neotropical Migratory Birds
Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
online & downloadable