Views
3 years ago

A land manager's guide to conserving habitat for forest birds in ...

A land manager's guide to conserving habitat for forest birds in ...

Wild Turkey Meleagris

Wild Turkey Meleagris gallopavo each other and the dominant male gains access to the females. Females nest in a shallow depression on the forest floor, usually at the base of a tree or under a brush pile, bush, or thick vegetation. Turkeys are single-brooded, laying 10 to17 whitish eggs, speckled with brown. Diet The Wild Turkey is omnivorous. In fall and winter, they feed on acorns, beech nuts, bulbs, seeds, and fruits of shrubs and trees. In spring and summer, they switch to predominantly grass and sedge seeds, and consume small amounts of insects (beetles and snails) and small vertebrates (salamanders and snakes). Male Wild Turkey — Photo: Garth McElroy Identification (110–115 centimetres) The Wild Turkey is a large, rather awkward ground-dwelling bird capable of making powerful short-distance flights. It is a resilient, prolific and strikingly handsome bird with long legs, long neck and a large fan-shaped tail. Turkeys are black to blackish-bronze with white wing bars, black and brown tail feathers, and a featherless bluish-gray to reddish head and neck (depending on the bird’s emotional state). “Toms” or males are more iridescent than females and sport a hair-like beard which protrudes from the breast bone. Females, called hens, are smaller and duller with bare grey heads and feathered necks. Turkeys are gregarious through most of the year, bar the lone incubating female. They are promiscuous, and one tom will often mate with many hens. Conservation Status Prior to European settlement, the Wild Turkey was abundant and widespread throughout eastern North America in hardwood and mixed forests with scattered openings. Unregulated hunting and habitat loss, however, led to extirpation from Ontario by 1909. A restoration program, which began in 1984, has successfully restored turkey populations in the province. In North America, populations have increased by 12.9 percent annually since 1968, and have even expanded west beyond their historical range. Breeding Biology This permanent resident breeds from southern Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba southward throughout the US states and down to central Mexico. In early spring, turkeys disband from their winter flocks to form smaller breeding groups with one or more males and several females. These males challenge Management Guidelines Because Wild Turkeys use a variety of habitats throughout the year for food, shelter, and cover they need a landscape that includes a mix of forest and open areas. Management for turkeys can include maintaining patches of dense conifer for roosting and to allow for patches of reduced snow depths that ease winter movements, retaining both soft and hard mast producing plants for food, thinning to promote growth of foraging habitat, maintaining mixed stands of variable age, applying prescribed burns or group selection to stimulate fruit-bearing shrub and understorey growth, and ensuring that harvests protect spring seepages that provide turkeys with a source of water during the winter. How to Find Although the Wild Turkey is a large ground-dwelling bird, it can be rather elusive. Look for small groups feeding in agricultural fields on the edge of woodlots in the early morning or listen for its gobble in the spring. Did you know? Photo: OMNR • Turkeys can swim short distances. • Wild Turkey males mate with several females (polygyny). Males attract females by gobbling and strutting with their tail fanned out, their wings lowered and dragging on the ground, their back feathers erect, their head thrown back, and their crop inflated. • Although hens build their own nests and incubate their own young, they are also known to frequently “dump” some of their eggs into another turkey’s nest. • The Wild Turkey was almost the national bird of the United States, losing out to the Bald Eagle by one vote. 102 Bird Species Accounts

Red-headed Woodpecker Melanerpes erythrocephalus Breeding Biology The Red-headed Woodpecker breeds from southern Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec south through the eastern United States in open woodland, woodland edges, urban parks, and fencerows. In Ontario, it breeds from early May through July. It lays five white eggs and raises a single brood. Birds typically excavate a new nest cavity each year in dead or dead portions of live trees at mid canopy height, but will reuse their own nest or those of other species. Red-heads are aggressive and exhibit high nest site fidelity, often nesting in the same limb in successive years. Diet The Red-headed Woodpecker is the most expert and persistent “flycatcher” in its family, and the most omnivorous North American woodpecker. It consumes beech and oak mast, seeds, nuts, berries, fruit, insects, bird eggs, nestlings, and mice. They forage primarily on dead trees, but will also forage on the ground, and catch insects in the air. Adult Red-headed Woodpecker — Photo: Mark Peck Identification (19–23 centimetres) The Red-headed Woodpecker is striking at rest and in flight, showing its colors of red, black, and white. This bird is unmistakable, with a head that is entirely crimson red, contrasted by a black back, and a white belly, rump, and large wing patch. The sexes are identical. Management Guidelines As with many cavity-nesting birds, availability of snags for nesting and roosting is of prime importance in the conservation and management of Red-headed Woodpeckers. Retaining existing snags and other live cavity trees and declining trees as future snags, in conjunction with providing open habitat to facilitate flycatching (e.g., possibly group selection) will benefit this species. More research is needed to identify precise habitat relationships and sensitivity to silviculture and other landuse practices in order to conserve future populations. How to find? Look for Red-headed Woodpeckers in open woodlands, high in the canopy foraging for mast (oak, beech, hickories). Listen for the distinct nasal “queer queer” call. Conservation Status Over the last 200 years, this species has undergone periods of abundance and periods when it appeared to be on the verge of extinction. The Red-headed Woodpecker breeds in open woodlands, particularly with beech or oak, and is of high conservation concern due to precipitous declines throughout most of its range in recent decades. In Canada, this species is threatened, and has declined in southern Ontario from 10,000 pairs in the 1980s to an estimated 700 pairs today. Declines may be linked to loss of dead elm trees for nesting and competition with Red-bellied Woodpeckers for nest cavities. Did you know? • The Red-headed Woodpecker may forego migration in the northern part of its range if the winter is mild and mast is abundant. • Red-headed Woodpeckers hide insects and seeds in cracks in wood, under bark, in fence posts, and under roof shingles. They typically cache grasshoppers tightly into crevices while still alive but unable to escape. • These birds are aggressive and are known to attack other birds invading their territory, and will even destroy the eggs and nests of other species. Bird Species Accountsa 103

A land manager's guide to conserving habitat for forest birds in ...
A Land Manager's Guide to Improving Habitat for Forest Thrushes
GOldEN-wiNGEd WARblER HAbitAt - American Bird Conservancy
Top 10 Threatened Bird Habitats - American Bird Conservancy
The Conservation of Thorn Scrub and Dry Forest Habitat in the ...
A Land Manager's Guide to Point Counts of Birds in the Southeast
Managing Land in the Piedmont of Virginia for the Benefit of Birds ...
Forest Management & Bats - Bat Conservation International
Managing Land in the Piedmont for Birds & Other Wildlife - Virginia ...
birding - Sustainable Forests Education Cooperative - University of ...
Land and Habitat Conservation - African Wildlife Foundation
Spring 2012 - American Bird Conservancy
Management and Conservation of Forest Genetic Resources in the ...
Conservation and sustainable management of forests
Managing for Cavity-Nesting Birds in Ponderosa Pine Forests
Top 20 Most Threatened Bird Habitats in the U.S. - American Bird ...
A Landowner's Guide to New England Cottontail Habitat Management
Avian communities of managed and unmanaged Minnes ota forests
Riverside Habitat Conservation Plan
Oak Ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest - American Bird Conservancy
Fall 2012: Is Species Conservation Enough? - American Bird ...
Their habitat is our habitat. - South Coast Conservation Program
GIS application to bird conservation in Puerto Rico - CoHemis
Read ABC's report on the Top 20 Most Threatened Bird Habitats in ...
reptile-habitat-management-handbook-ffull
Mosaic Fertilizer's Wellfield: Habitat Restoration, Conservation ...
Proactive Conservation Management of an Island-endemic Bird ...
Valuation of Habitat Conservation / Protected Areas ... - UIB Congres