Index of Species Information

WILDLIFE SPECIES:  Sialia mexicana


Introductory

WILDLIFE SPECIES: Sialia mexicana
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Sullivan, Janet. 1995. Sialia mexicana. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ [].

ABBREVIATION : SIME COMMON NAMES : western bluebird TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for western bluebird is Sialia mexicana Swainson [1,2]. Subspecies listed in the 1957 American Ornithologists' Union Checklist (the last to include subspecies) include [1,8]: S. m. mexicana S. m. bairdi Ridgway, chestnut-backed bluebird S. m. occidentalis Townsend, western bluebird S. m. anabelae Anthony, San Pedro bluebird The breeding ranges of western and mountain bluebird (S. currucoides) overlap extensively in the western United States, but the two species have slightly different habitat preferences [1,32]. ORDER : Passeriformes CLASS : Bird FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : The western bluebird was on the Audubon Society's Blue List in 1972 and was listed again from 1978 to 1981 [60]. It was considered of special concern in 1982 and of local concern in 1986. Population declines continue in some areas [21]. Atwood [3] compiled listings of western landbirds; the western bluebird is listed as a candidate species in Washington, a sensitive (vulnerable) species in Oregon, and sensitive (declining population due to limited range or habitat) in Utah.


WILDLIFE DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE

WILDLIFE SPECIES: Sialia mexicana
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : The breeding range of western bluebird extends from southern British Columbia, western and south-central Montana south through the mountains to northern Baja California, Michoacan, Puebla, and central Veracruz, Mexico [1]. Ranges of subspecies are as follows [1,8]: The chestnut-backed bluebird breeds from southern Nevada, central Utah, and Colorado south through the mountains to west-central and southeastern Arizona, northern Chihuahua, and western Texas.  It winters throughout the breeding range at lower elevations, wandering to southeastern California, eastern Sonora, and central Texas. The western bluebird (ssp. occidentalis) breeds from southern British Columbia, western and central Montana, south through eastern Oregon, northern Idaho, northwestern Wyoming, and through the mountains to southern California and western Nevada.  It winters mostly within its breeding range at lower elevations, wandering to southern California including Santa Catalina and San Clemente islands. The San Pedro bluebird is resident in northern Baja California, wandering in winter to lower altitudes and to the coastal islands. Western bluebirds have been reported as winter residents in Vancouver, British Columbia [57]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES20 Douglas-fir FRES21 Ponderosa pine FRES22 Western white pine FRES23 Fir-spruce FRES24 Hemlock-Sitka spruce FRES25 Larch FRES26 Lodgepole pine FRES27 Redwood FRES28 Western hardwoods FRES29 Sagebrush FRES30 Desert shrub FRES31 Shinnery FRES32 Texas savanna FRES33 Southwestern shrubsteppe FRES34 Chaparral-mountain shrub FRES35 Pinyon-juniper FRES36 Mountain grasslands FRES37 Mountain meadows STATES :
AZ CA CO ID MT NV NM OR TX UT
WA WY

BC

MEXICO
BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS :     1  Northern Pacific Border     2  Cascade Mountains     3  Southern Pacific Border     4  Sierra Mountains     5  Columbia Plateau     6  Upper Basin and Range     7  Lower Basin and Range     8  Northern Rocky Mountains     9  Middle Rocky Mountains    10  Wyoming Basin    11  Southern Rocky Mountains    12  Colorado Plateau KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS :    K001  Spruce-cedar-hemlock forest    K002  Cedar-hemlock-Douglas-fir forest    K003  Silver fir-Douglas-fir forest    K004  Fir-hemlock forest    K005  Mixed conifer forest    K007  Red fir forest    K008  Lodgepole pine-subalpine forest    K009  Pine-cypress forest    K010  Ponderosa shrub forest    K011  Western ponderosa forest    K012  Douglas-fir forest    K013  Cedar-hemlock-pine forest    K014  Grand fir-Douglas-fir forest    K015  Western spruce-fir forest    K016  Eastern ponderosa forest    K018  Pine-Douglas-fir forest    K019  Arizona pine forest    K020  Spruce-fir-Douglas-fir forest    K021  Southwestern spruce-fir forest    K022  Great Basin pine forest    K023  Juniper-pinyon woodland    K024  Juniper steppe woodland    K026  Oregon oakwoods    K027  Mesquite bosque    K028  Mosaic of K002 and K026    K029  California mixed evergreen forest    K031  Oak-juniper woodlands    K032  Transition between K031 and K037    K033  Chaparral    K038  Great Basin sagebrush    K055  Sagebrush steppe    K060  Mesquite savanna    K061  Mesquite-acacia savanna    K062  Mesquite-live oak savanna    K071  Shinnery    K086  Juniper-oak savanna    K087  Mesquite-oak savanna SAF COVER TYPES :     66  Ashe juniper-redberry (Pinchot) juniper     68  Mesquite    201  White spruce    202  White spruce-paper birch    203  Balsam poplar    204  Black spruce    205  Mountain hemlock    206  Engelmann spruce-subalpine fir    207  Red fir    208  Whitebark pine    209  Bristlecone pine    210  Interior Douglas-fir    211  White fir    212  Western larch    213  Grand fir    215  Western white pine    216  Blue spruce    217  Aspen    218  Lodgepole pine    219  Limber pine    220  Rocky Mountain juniper    221  Red alder    223  Sitka spruce    224  Western hemlock    225  Western hemlock-Sitka spruce    226  Coastal true fir-hemlock    227  Western redcedar-western hemlock    228  Western redcedar    229  Pacific Douglas-fir    230  Douglas-fir-western hemlock    231  Port-Orford-cedar    232  Redwood    233  Oregon white oak    234  Douglas-fir-tanoak-Pacific madrone    237  Interior ponderosa pine    238  Western juniper    239  Pinyon-juniper    240  Arizona cypress    241  Western live oak    242  Mesquite    243  Sierra Nevada mixed conifer    244  Pacific ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir    245  Pacific ponderosa pine    246  California black oak    247  Jeffrey pine    248  Knobcone pine    249  Canyon live oak    250  Blue oak-foothills pine    251  White spruce-aspen    252  Paper birch    253  Black spruce-white spruce    254  Black spruce-paper birch    256  California mixed subalpine SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES :    107  Western juniper/big sagebrush/bluebunch wheatgrass    109  Ponderosa pine shrubland    110  Ponderosa pine-grassland    201  Blue oak woodland    202  Coast live oak woodland    207  Scrub oak mixed chaparral    208  Ceanothus mixed chaparral    208  Ceanothus mixed chaparral    314  Big sagebrush-bluebunch wheatgrass    315  Big sagebrush-Idaho fescue    316  Big sagebrush-rough fescue    409  Tall forb    411  Aspen woodland    412  Juniper-pinyon woodland    413  Gambel oak    503  Arizona chaparral    504  Juniper-pinyon pine woodland    509  Transition between oak-juniper woodland and mahogany-oak association    718  Mesquite-grama    729  Mesquite    733  Juniper-oak    734  Mesquite-oak PLANT COMMUNITIES : Western bluebirds exhibit a strong preference for ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) communities [43].  In Montana western bluebirds occur in the Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)-ponderosa pine zone and the cedar (Thuja spp.)-hemlock (Tsuga spp.)-spruce (Picea spp.)-grand fir (Abies grandis) zones [26].  In Rocky Mountain, Sierran, and Madrean conifer forests, western bluebirds occur in montane meadow grasslands, usually over 8,580 feet (2,600 m) elevation.  They are not usually found in subalpine communities [13]. In central and southern Utah western bluebirds are uncommon summer residents of ponderosa pine, aspen (Populus spp.), and Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii) woodlands [29]. In Oregon and Washington western bluebirds' primary habitat is in low to mid-elevation conifer and conifer-hardwood forests [28].  In Washington western bluebirds occurred on a study site in a ponderosa pine-Oregon white oak (Quercus garryana) woodland and in big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)/bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicatum)-cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum)-rubber rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseous) communities ranging from 2,325 to 6,320 feet (705-915 m) elevation [33]. In California western bluebirds are characteristic of oak (Quercus spp.) woodlands from 198 to 3,465 feet (60-1,050 m) elevation [14].  In El Paso County, Arizona, western bluebirds breed mainly in the yellow pine region from 7,000 to 8,000 feet (2,134-2,438 m) [8]. Western bluebirds winter in pinyon (Pinus spp.)-juniper (Juniperus spp.) woodlands in north-central Arizona.  They are numerous in some years but not in others, depending on weather and juniper cone crops [6]. REFERENCES : NO-ENTRY

BIOLOGICAL DATA AND HABITAT REQUIREMENTS

WILDLIFE SPECIES: Sialia mexicana
TIMING OF MAJOR LIFE HISTORY EVENTS : Spring Migration and Seasonal Movements:  The western bluebird is a short-distance migrant; individuals of some populations do not migrate at all [28].  Western bluebirds and mountain bluebirds arrive in south-central Washington at the same time of year (February to March) in mixed flocks with approximately equal sex ratios.  Western bluebirds select and defend nest boxes within a week of arrival [32].  In the Huachuca Mountains of Arizona, western bluebirds are numerous in the lower foothills in early March and absent from the higher parts of the mountain range.  As the weather warms they move up in altitude to the pine regions above 8,000 feet (2,438 m) for the breeding season but move down again beginning about the middle of August [8]. Territoriality:  Western bluebirds and eastern bluebirds are close in their habitat requirements and exhibit interspecific territoriality in areas of sympatry [38], as do western bluebirds and mountain bluebirds in the areas where they exist together [43]. Clutch Size and Incubation:  Typical western bluebird clutches consist of four or five eggs (range 3-8) [21].  The female incubates, probably for about 14 days [8]. Development of Young:  Both parents feed the nestlings but usually only the female broods.  Fledging occurs in about 23 days, and fledglings continue to be fed by the parents for up to 30 days [21].  Almost always, a second clutch is started as soon as the first brood is fledged.  The parents continue to feed the first brood almost until the second brood hatches.  After the second brood fledges, both families form a single flock and remain in the area until migration [8]. Fall Migration:  In areas of sympatry, mixed flocks of western bluebirds and mountain bluebirds have been observed during migration and in winter [32].  Resident flocks often move up or down in elevation with the season [8]. Winter Flocks:  Western bluebirds form small flocks in winter (average 7 birds).  In the southwestern United States western bluebird flocks are nomadic in winter, traversing large areas in search of berries and water.  There is some evidence that they follow regular foraging routes [6]. PREFERRED HABITAT : Western bluebirds normally occupy open woodland or edge habitat with exposed perches and fairly sparse ground cover [43].  There is a great deal of similarity between western and mountain bluebird habitat preference; however, western bluebirds are less tolerant of large treeless areas and disturbance [6].  Szaro and Balda [54] listed western bluebirds as preferring lightly or moderately disturbed areas in northern Arizona ponderosa pine communities.  Highest densities of western bluebirds were observed in plots that had been irregularly cut in strips.  Severely thinned plots had lower western bluebird densities than irregular strip cut plots, but lowest western bluebird densities occurred in untreated plots.  There were fewer individuals and fewer species present after wet winters (heavy snowfall) than after mild winters.  The combination of lower temperatures and more precipitation during the winter and early spring is important in determining the survival of permanent residents including western bluebird.  In a Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi)-white fir (Abies concolor) forest in California, yearly variation in cavity-nester density was negatively correlated with yearly precipitation [54,55].  Hansen and others [28] listed western bluebird in Oregon and Washington as preferring open canopy stages of conifer and conifer-hardwood stands, and western bluebird response to edge as "generalist" (uses edges but not exclusively).  They also rated western bluebird sensitivity to landscape change as 13 (on a scale from most sensitive-20 to least sensitive-11). In ponderosa pine-oak forests of Arizona, western bluebirds are less sensitive to low snag densities than other cavity nesters, using oaks more often in areas with few ponderosa pine snags [16].  Hutto and others [35] listed five studies which reported increased numbers of western bluebirds in partially cut forests. Western bluebirds usually breed in areas near the lower treeline [20]. However, the breeding range extends from lowlands with bunchgrasses to upper timberline [32].  In Zion National Park, Utah western bluebirds are summer residents above 7,500 feet (2,286 m) elevation and are common in open forest glades near meadows [8]. Wintering Habitat:  Western bluebirds are frequent drifters in pinyon-juniper woodlands in winter; density depends on availability of mistletoe (Phoradendron spp.) and juniper berries [6,8].  Bent's [8] contributors reported that in the area around Yosemite National Park flocks move to higher elevations in early fall, apparently following availability of mistletoe berries.  Availability of this food is probably more of a determining factor in western bluebird movement than is weather (i.e., they move up in elevation in spite of colder weather, and move down again only when food supplies are exhausted). COVER REQUIREMENTS : Nesting:  Preferred nesting cavities are usually abandoned woodpecker (Picidae) holes in dead or dying trees [22].  Other nest cavities include holes in dirt banks, abandoned swallow (Hirundinae) and American dipper (Cinclus mexicanus) nests, hollow fenceposts, mailboxes, holes in buildings, and nest boxes [32].  In Monterey County, California, western bluebird nests were in pine or pine stumps, 5 to 40 feet (1.5-12.1 m) above the ground, at an average of 22 feet (6.7 m) [8].  Characteristics of snags used by secondary cavity nesters including western bluebirds in western Oregon Douglas-fir are as follows:  average diameter 28 inches (71.3 cm), range of diameters 10 to 54 inches (25.4-137.2 cm); average height of snags 30.4 feet (9.2 m), range of heights 12 to 55 feet (3.7-16.8 m); average bark cover 16 percent, range of bark cover 0 to 100 percent [49].  The average diameter of ponderosa pine snags used by western bluebirds (23 nests) was 26.5 inches (67.6 cm), ranging from 12 to 45 inches (29.5-114.6 cm).  The average diameter of oaks used by western bluebirds (9 nests) was 14 inches (35.6 cm), ranging from 10 to 26 inches (25.4-65.0 cm) [16].  Balda [5] recommended a snag density of 2.6 per acre (6.5/ha); however, a study by Cunningham and others [16] indicated that snag density of 2.1 per acre (5.2/ha) is sufficient. Nest Boxes:  In northern Arizona nest boxes appeared to be preferred over natural cavities in ponderosa pine forests [11].  Western bluebirds are more restricted in nest box selection than mountain bluebirds.  In south-central Washington western bluebirds always selected nest boxes within 0.3 mile (0.5 km) of pine-oak stands (or other cover) [32]. Foraging:  Perches near open areas with sparse ground cover are preferred foraging sites; dead branches are preferred to living ones, presumably for greater prey visibility.  Western bluebirds obtain less food on the ground than the other two bluebirds and may be found in relatively dense pine woodlands [43]. FOOD HABITS : Western bluebirds are primarily insectivorous but also consume fruit from late summer to early spring. An early study (1915) established that 82 percent of the diet was animal (insect) foods and 18 percent was plant matter.  The largest single item was grasshoppers, followed by caterpillars, beetles, ants, bees, and wasps [7]. Plant Foods:  Most of the plant foods eaten by western bluebirds are fruits.  Elderberries (Sambucus spp.) and mistletoe berries are favored foods.  Weed seeds and a few seeds of other species are eaten in small amounts; however, western bluebirds do not usually consume grain [7,39]. Western bluebird diet from fall to early spring includes mistletoe, juniper, coffeeberry (Rhamnus spp.), and toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) berries [32].  One of Bent's [8] contributors reported western bluebirds eating the fruit of California palm (Washingtonia filifera) in California. Nestlings are fed mostly grasshoppers, crickets, caterpillars, beetles, bugs, and spiders [8,32,39].  In south-central Washington, caterpillars, spiders, bees, and wasps became more important late in the season and beetle use decreased [32]. Foraging Techniques:  Western bluebirds forage primarily from perches, dropping to the ground to capture prey spotted from the perch. Occasionally (2.7% of observations), hover foraging is employed; the bird flies from a perch, hovers 3.3 to 33 feet (1-10 m) above the ground and flutters down to capture prey after it has been sighted [33]. Pitelka [44] observed western bluebirds soaring in an updraft as a means to spot prey.  Soaring is usually employed by large birds with broad wings; small birds can efficiently soar if air conditions are right. PREDATORS : There are numerous potential predators of western bluebird including hawks (Buteonidae) and owls (Strigidae).  Nest competitors including European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) and house sparrows (Passer domesticus) destroy eggs, nestlings, and occasionally adult western bluebirds [32]. MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Population Status:  Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data indicates that there were no nesting western bluebirds west of the Cascade Range in Washington for the period 1968 to 1976 [31].  Nationally, BBS data indicated a decreasing trend for western bluebirds between 1968 and 1991, but a more recent trend (1982-1991) showed a slight but nonsignificant increase [30].  Hejl [30] hypothesized that species associated with burns and/or snags, such as western bluebirds, are less abundant in the United States than they were 100 years ago.  Populations in the southwest have probably declined due to forest closure as a result of fire exclusion.  Based on data from Raphael and others [47], she also hypothesized a local population increase in northwestern Douglas-fir forests because logging has resulted in increased amounts of early successional habitats [30].  Herlugson [31] suggested that the mountain bluebird has replaced the western bluebird as the predominant bluebird in the Northwest during this century.  Grazing reduces herb density and may benefit mountain bluebird at the expense of western bluebird.  Mountain bluebird probably benefits more from logging as well [43].  In Arizona Szaro [52] recorded the replacement of western bluebird by mountain bluebird following clearcutting in ponderosa pine forests.  Western bluebirds also declined in Nevada [18]. There is often a high degree of inter- and intraspecific competition among cavity nesters for nest sites.  Competition for nest sites has increased with the invasion of European starlings and house sparrows introduced from Europe in this century [32].  On a burned site in southwestern Idaho, Lewis' woodpeckers (Melanerpes lewis) frequently usurped western bluebird nests, sometimes ejecting nestlings [48]. Competition with European starlings has probably contributed to western bluebird population declines in Utah [29].  Competition with violet-green swallows (Tachycineta thalassina) for nest sites has probably contributed to western bluebird movement to higher elevations for nesting.  It may also be responsible for the near extinction of mainland populations west of the Cascade Range in Oregon and Washington, and reduced numbers on nearby islands.  Other factors contributing to western bluebird population declines in these areas include competition for nest sites with house sparrows, changes in farm practices (larger areas with no hedgerows, etc.) and destruction of potential nest cavities.  There was a severe drop in population after DDT use in 1947 in the Willamette Valley, and western bluebird numbers never completely recovered [26]. Population Density:  During the breeding season western bluebird density in northern Arizona ponderosa pine forests at 6,930 to 7,590 feet (2,100-2,300 m) elevation was observed in three different habitat structures, comparing plots with nest boxes to plots with no nest boxes (control plots).  The three treatment plots consisted of ponderosa pine stands that had been severely thinned (open), moderately thinned (thinned), and uncut for 60 years (dense).  There were higher densities of breeding western bluebirds on open and thinned plots with nest boxes than on similar habitat with no nest boxes.  The amount of increase was about the same open and thinned plots.  Breeding densities were similar on dense plots with and without nest boxes.  The authors concluded that nest site availability influenced breeding density in areas with limited nest sites.  Brawn [10] found no negative effects on fledging success with increased breeding population density with added nest boxes. However, other factors such as availability of foraging perches may affect breeding density when nest sites are plentiful [12].  In western Oregon young Douglas-fir plantations, breeding western bluebirds were common on or near plots with snags.  On these plots snags were usually the only component taller than the shrub layer [49]. Nest Box Programs:  In Washington west of the Cascade Range, nest boxes placed above 600 feet (182 m) elevation were more successful (had fewer competitors) in providing western bluebird nest sites than those at lower elevations.  Nest boxes placed on trees were more successful for western bluebirds than those placed on fenceposts [45,46].  Nest box success in western Montana was improved when nest box entrance hole sizes were increased to 1.56 inches (4 cm) presumably from 1.5 inches (3.8 cm), the standard size used to exclude starlings from nest boxes. The nest box program appears to have attracted many western bluebirds to breed; local population sizes are perceived (anecdotal evidence) to have increased [4].  Boxes for western bluebirds in southwestern ponderosa pine forests should be placed along forest edges or in grassy glades within open forests.  Western bluebirds use large nest boxes with 3 inch (7.6 cm) diameter entrance holes if no other sites are available [25]. Nest boxes may attract western bluebirds to atypical habitat [33]. Management Recommendations:  Szaro and Balda [53] suggested that removal of one-sixth to two-thirds of available foliage in ponderosa pine communities either in strips or by thinning is not detrimental to breeding bird communities (in terms of species richness, density, or diversity), but caution that post-treatment bird communities are not composed of the same species.  Western bluebirds apparently benefit from moderate disturbance [54].  Snags are a necessary component of western bluebird nesting habitat and should be retained wherever possible [26,49].  Mature and decadent trees should be left during timber harvest for future snag production, particularly where existing snags are few [43].  Diem and Zeveloff [19] suggest that western bluebirds may be especially sensitive to timber harvest in ponderosa pine habitats because of the need for snags.  Bull and Partridge [15] recommend that retention of natural snags is preferable to killing trees.  For snag production in Oregon ponderosa pine forests they recommend topping trees 50 to 83 feet (15-25 m) above the ground.  Trees should be greater than 20 inches (50 cm) d.b.h. [15]. Pesticide Studies:  In northeastern Oregon Douglas-fir forests treated for Douglas-fir tussock moth, western bluebird hatching rates increased significantly in areas sprayed with DDT; the difference was not attributed to DDT use.  Other nesting parameters showed no significant differences between sprayed and unsprayed plots [40]. In the southwestern United States a large portion of western bluebird winter diet consists of juniper and mistletoe berries; therefore western bluebirds may be a major dispersal agent for those species [6]. REFERENCES : NO-ENTRY

FIRE EFFECTS AND USE

WILDLIFE SPECIES: Sialia mexicana
DIRECT FIRE EFFECTS ON ANIMALS : There are no reports of direct western bluebird mortality due to fire; nestlings and nests are probably vulnerable, however.  Fast-moving, intense chaparral fires have the potential to kill birds and/or create extreme stresses (panic, dehydration) [41]. HABITAT RELATED FIRE EFFECTS : Postfire successional communities are usually attractive to western bluebirds, especially in the first few years following the fire [48]. In Kern County, California, western bluebirds were recorded prior to a July 1954 prescribed fire in scrub woodlands dominated by blue oak (Quercus douglasii), gray pine (Pinus sabiniana), interior live oak (Q. wislizenii), and wedgeleaf ceanothus (Ceanothus cuneatus).  By 3 years after the fire, western bluebird densities had nearly doubled [37].  In southwestern Idaho a ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir forest that burned in 1992 was censused in 1994.  Most of the trees on the plot were dead. Cavity nesters in the area included western bluebirds (17 nests on 7,813 acres [3,163 ha]) [48].  Based on data from Brawn and Balda [12], Hejl [30] hypothesized a western bluebird population decrease for southwestern ponderosa pine forests since fire exclusion has led to increased amounts of closed forest.  Snag availability in postfire communities is a substantial positive influence on western bluebird activity [49].  On the Olympic Peninsula western bluebirds were detected on 30- to 50-year-old Douglas-fir plantations in dense patches of fire-killed snags; they were not detected on plots without snags nor in younger and older plots with snags [59].  Hutto [34] emphasizes the importance of snags and strongly recommends against salvage cutting of burned forests; the abundance of newly killed trees and concomitant woodpecker activity is particularly valuable to western bluebirds for nest cavities.  If salvage logging is unavoidable (for sanitary or firebreak reasons) then some areas should be left untouched rather than thinning the entire unit [34]. Loss of vegetative cover due to fire is detrimental to most small birds, leaving them vulnerable to raptors, especially in large, severe fires which leave few unburned refuges.  In San Dimas, California, western bluebirds initially declined in immediate postfire chaparral communities, probably due to lack of fruit [58]. FIRE USE : Savannas and open stands of mature pine are natural western bluebird habitat that require recurrent fire for maintenance.  Prescribed fire is usually beneficial to western bluebird especially if it reduces shrubs and understory trees [43]. The Research Project Summary Effects of understory fire on cavity-nesting birds in Arizona pine forests provides information on prescribed fire effects in Arizona pine (Pinus ponderosa var. arizonica) forest where western bluebird occurred on both burned and unburned plots.

REFERENCES

WILDLIFE SPECIES: Sialia mexicana
REFERENCES :  1.  American Ornithologists' Union. 1983. Checklist of North American birds.        6th ed. Lawrence, KS: Allen Press, Inc. 877 p.  [21234]  2.  American Ornithologists' Union. 1957. Checklist of North American birds.        5th ed. Baltimore, MD: The Lord Baltimore Press, Inc. 691 p.  [21235]  3.  Atwood, Jonathan L. 1994. Endangered small landbirds of the western        United States. In: Jehl, Joseph R., Jr.; Johnson, Ned K., eds. A century        of avifaunal change in western North America; Proceedings of an        international symposium at the centennial meeting of the Cooper        Ornithological Society; 1993 April 17; Sacramento, CA. Studies in Avian        Biology No. 15. [Place of publication unknown]: Cooper Ornithological        Society: 328-339.  [24784]  4.  Aylesworth, Art. 1987. Breeding biology of western bluebirds in western        Montana. Sialia. 9(4): 135-136.  [24919]  5.  Balda, Russell P. 1975. The relationship of secondary cavity nesters to        snag densities in western coniferous forests. Wildlife Habitat Technical        Bulletin No. 1. Albuquerque, NM: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service, Southwestern Region. 37 p.  [25094]  6.  Balda, Russell P. 1987. Avian impacts on pinyon-juniper woodlands. In:        Everett, Richard L., compiler. Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference;        1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research        Station: 525-533.  [4993]  7.  Beal, F. E. L. 1915. Food of the robins and bluebirds of the United        States. Bulletin No. 171. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture. 31 p.  [24990]  8.  Bent, Arthur Cleveland. 1964. Life histories of North American thrushes,        kinglets, and their allies. New York: Dover Publications, Inc. 452 p.        [24782]  9.  Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals,        reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's        associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO:        U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p.        [434] 10.  Brawn, Jeffrey D. 1987. Density effects on reprodcution on cavity        nesters in northern Arizona. Auk. 104(4): 783-787.  [24921] 11.  Brawn, Jeffrey D. 1988. Selectivity and ecological consequences of        cavity nesters using natural vs. artificial nest sites. Auk. 105(4):        789-791.  [24922] 12.  Brawn, Jeffrey D.; Balda, Russell P. 1988. Population biology of cavity        nesters in northern Arizona: do nest sites limit breeding densities?.        Condor. 90: 61-71.  [24926] 13.  Brown, David E. 1982. Montane meadow grassland. In: Brown, David E., ed.        Biotic communities of the American Southwest--United States and Mexico.        Desert Plants. 4(1-4): 113-114.  [8895] 14.  Brown, David E. 1982. Californian evergreen forest and woodland. In:        Brown, David E., ed.  Biotic communities of the American        Southwest--United States and Mexico. Desert Plants. 4(1-4): 66-69.        [8887] 15.  Bull, Evelyn L.; Partridge, Arthur D. 1986. Methods of killing trees for        use by cavity nesters. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 14(2): 142-146.        [15537] 16.  Cunningham, James B.; Balda, Russell P.; Gaud, William S. 1980.        Selection and use of snags by secondary cavity-nesting birds of the        ponderosa pine forest. Res. Pap. RM-222. Fort Collins, CO: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and        Range Experiment Station. 15 p.  [15540] 17.  DeByle, Norbert V. 1985. Wildlife. In: DeByle, Norbert V.; Winokur,        Robert P., eds. Aspen: ecology and management in the western United        States. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-119. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment        Station: 135-152.  [11916] 18.  DeSante, David F.; George, T. Luke. 1994. Population trends in the        landbirds of western North America. In: Jehl, Joseph R., Jr.; Johnson,        Ned K., eds. A century of avifaunal change in western North America;        Proceedings of an international symposium at the centennial meeting of        the Cooper Ornithological Society; 1993 April 17; Sacramento, CA.        Studies in Avian Biology No. 15. [Place of publication unknown]:        173-190.  [24783] 19.  Diem, Kenneth L.; Zeveloff, Samuel I. 1980. Ponderosa pine bird        communities. In: DeGraaf, Richard M., technical coordinator. Management        of western forests and grasslands for nongame birds: Workshop        proceedings; 1980 February 11-14; Salt Lake City, UT. Gen. Tech. Rep.        INT-86. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 170-197.  [17904] 20.  Dumas, Philip C. 1950. Habitat distribution of breeding birds in        southeastern Washington. Condor. 52: 232-237.  [24992] 21.  Ehrlich, Paul R.; Dobkin, David S.; Wheye, Darryl. 1988. The birder's        handbook: a field guide to the natural history of North American birds.        New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc. 785 p.  [21559] 22.  Erskine, A. J.; McLaren, W. D. 1972. Sapsucker nest holes and their use        by other species. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 86: 357-361.  [24991] 23.  Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and        Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p.  [905] 24.  Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others].        1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range        ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p.  [998] 25.  Gary, Howard L.; Morris, Meredith J. 1980. Constructing wooden boxes for        cavity-nesting birds. Res. Note RM-381. Fort Collins, CO: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and        Range Experiment Station. 7 p.  [20545] 26.  Gillis, Earl. 1989. Western bluebirds, tree swallows & violet-green        swallows west of the Cascade Mountains in Oregon, Washington & Vancouver        Island, BC. Sialia. 11(4): 127-130.  [24916] 27.  Godtel, Don; Greer, John; Ruediger, Bill. 1978. Managing snag dependent        wildlife in a managed forest. Libby, MT: U.S. Department of Agriculture,        Forest Service, Region 1, Kootenai National Forest. 13 p.  [17179] 28.  Hansen, Andrew J.; Garman, Steven L.; Marks, Barbara; Urban, Dean L.        1993. An approach for managing vertebrate diversity across multiple-use        landscapes?. Ecological Applications. 3(3): 481-496.  [22872] 29.  Hedges, Steven. 1994. Utah's bluebirds. Utah Birds. 10(1): 7-8.  [24924] 30.  Hejl, Sallie J. 1994. Human-induced changes in bird populations in        coniferous forests in western North America during the past 100 years.        Studies in Avian Biology. 15: 232-246.  [24205] 31.  Herlugson, Christopher, J. 1978. Comments on the status and distribution        of western and mountain bluebirds in Washington. Western Birds. 9:        21-32.  [25041] 32.  Herlugson, Christopher Jan. 1980. Biology of sympatric populations of        western and mountain bluebirds. Pullman, WA: Washington State        University. 133 p. Dissertation.  [24927] 33.  Herlugson, Christopher J. 1983. Hover-foraing by western bluebirds.        Murrelet. 64(2): 58-60.  [24925] 34.  Hutto, Richard L. [In press]. [n.d.]. The composition of bird        communities following stand-replacement fires in northern Rocky Mountain        conifer forests. Conservation Biology.  [24340] 35.  Hutto, Richard L.; Hejl, Sallie J.; Preston, Charles R.; Finch, Deborah        M. 1992. Effects of silvicultural treatments on forest birds in the        Rocky Mountains: implications and management recommendations. In: Finch,        Deborah M.; Stangel, Peter W., eds. Status and management of neotropical        migratory birds; 1992 September 21-25; Estes Park, CO. Gen. Tech. Rep.        RM-229. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 386-391.        [24328] 36.  Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation        of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York:        American Geographical Society. 77 p.  [1384] 37.  Lawrence, George E. 1966. Ecology of vertebrate animals in relation to        chaparral fire in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Ecology. 47(2): 278-291.        [147] 38.  Marshall, Joe T., Jr. 1957. Birds of pine-oak woodland in southern        Arizona and adjacent New Mexico. Pacific Coast Avifauna No. 32.        Berkeley, CA: Cooper Ornithological Society. 125 p.  [24995] 39.  Martin, Alexander C.; Zim, Herbert S.; Nelson, Arnold L. 1951. American        wildlife and plants. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. 500 p.        [4021] 40.  McCluskey, D. Calvin; Thomas, Jack Ward; Meslow, E. Charles. 1977.        Effects of aerial application of DDT on reproduction in house wrens and        mountain and western bluebirds. Res. Pap. PNW-228. Portland, OR: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and        Range Experiment Station. 22 p.  [20626] 41.  Nichols, R.; Menke, J. 1984. Effects of chaparral shrubland fire on        terrestrial wildlife. In: DeVries, Johannes J., ed. Shrublands in        California: literature review and research needed for management.        Contribution No. 191. Davis, CA: University of California, Water        Resources Center: 74-97.  [5706] 42.  Peterjohn, Bruce G.; Sauer, John R. 1994. Population trends of woodland        birds from the North American breeding bird survey. Wildlife Society        Bulletin. 22(2): 155-164.  [26655] 43.  Pinkowski, Benedict C. 1979. Foraging ecology and habitat utilization in        the genus Sialia. In: Dickson, James G.; Conner, Richard N.; Fleet,        Robert R.; [and others], editors. The role of insectivorous birds in        forest ecosystems: Proceedings of a symposium; 1978 July 13-14;        Nacogdoches, TX. New York: Academic Press, Inc.: 165-190.  [24785] 44.  Pitelka, Frank A. 1941. Foraging behavior in the western bluebird.        Condor. 43: 198-199.  [24923] 45.  Pollock, Harold. 1987. 1987 bluebird report. Victoria Naturalist. 44(3):        120.  [24920] 46.  Prescott, Hubert W.; Gillis, Earl. 1985. An analysis of western bluebird        double and triple nest box research on Chehalem and Parrett Mountains in        1982. Sialia. 7(4): 123-146.  [25230] 47.  Raphael, Martin; Rosenberg, Kenneth V.; Marcot, Bruce G. 1988.        Large-scale changes in bird populations of Douglas-fir forest,        northwestern California. Bird Conservation. 3: 63-83.  [24918] 48.  Saab, Victoria A.; Dudley, Jonathan. 1995. Nest usurpation and cavity        use by Lewis' woodpeckers. Condor. Review draft.  [24917] 49.  Schreiber, B.; DeCalesta, D. S. 1992. The relationship between        cavity-nesting birds and snags on clearcuts in western Oregon. Forest        Ecology and Management. 50: 299-316.  [19275] 50.  Shiflet, Thomas N., ed. 1994. Rangeland cover types of the United        States. Denver, CO: Society for Range Management. 152 p.  [23362] 51.  Stewart, Robert E.; Robbins, Chandler S. 1958. Birds of Maryland and the        District of Columbia. North American Fauna: No. 62. Washington, DC: U.S.        Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 401 p.  [24044] 52.  Szaro, Robert Chester. 1976. Population densities, habitat selection, &        foliage use by the birds of selected ponderosa pine areas in the Beaver        Creek Watershed, Arizona. Flagstaff, AZ: Northern Arizona University.        264 p. Dissertation.  [24994] 53.  Szaro, Robert C.; Balda, Russell P. 1979. Effects of harvesting        ponderosa pine on nongame bird populations. Res. Pap. RM-212. Fort        Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky        Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 8 p.  [19326] 54.  Szaro, Robert C.; Balda, Russell P. 1982. Selection and monitoring of        avian indicator species: an example from a ponderosa pine forest in the        Southwest. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-89. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, ForestService, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment        Station. 8 p.  [15851] 55.  Szaro, Robert C.; Balda, Russell P. 1986. Relationships among weather,        habitat structure, and ponderosa pine forest birds. Journal of Wildlife        Management. 50(2): 253-260.  [12598] 56.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1994. Plants        of the U.S.--alphabetical listing. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 954 p.  [23104] 57.  Weber, Wayne; Ansell, Gerry; Kautesk, Brian; Kragh, Doug. 1983.        Wintering of mountain and western bluebirds at Boundary Bay, B.C.        Discovery. [Vancouver,BC: Vancouver Natural History Society]; 12(2):        48-50.  [24934] 58.  Wirtz, W. O., II. 1982. Postfire community structure of birds and        rodents in southern California chaparral. In: Conrad, C. Eugene; Oechel,        Walter C., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on        dynamics and management of Mediterranean-type ecosystems; 1981 June        22-26; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-58. Berkeley, CA: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and        Range Experiment Station: 241-246.  [6025] 59.  Zarnowitz, Jill E. 1982. The effect of forest management on        cavity-nesting bird populations in the Olympic National Forest,        Washington. Seattle, WA: University of Washington. 113 p. Thesis.        [24780] 60.  Tate, James, Jr. 1986. The Blue List for 1986. American Birds. 40(2):        227-235.  [24324]


FEIS Home Page