Birds and Burns
Contact Information

Vicki Saab
Birds and Burns Network
Rocky Mountain Research Station
1648 South 7th Avenue, MSU Campus
Bozeman, MT 59717-2780

Birds and Burns Network

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Design & Methods

We used a Before, After, Control, Impact (BACI) design with replication at 9 locations in 8 western states for the prescribed fire studies, which began in 2002. At each location, sampling units were 250-400 ha with at least 2 replicate units for each treatment and control and a minimum of 20 point count stations in each unit. We conducted point count surveys to quantify population densities of songbirds; monitored nests of target species (woodpeckers, bluebirds, and nuthatches) to determine nesting densities, success, and productivity; and measured vegetation (fine fuels; ground, log, and overstory cover; densities of logs, shrubs, trees and snags) at nest and point count locations. Point count and vegetation sampling were stratified by crown closure; nest surveys and monitoring were conducted throughout each unit. Point count, vegetation, and nest data were collected at least 2 years before prescribed fire treatments and at least 2 years after fire treatment. Results from ongoing wildfire research that began in the 1990s are being used to compare habitat and bird populations with those monitored before and after prescribed fire treatments.

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map showing locations of fires in study

A: Okanogan-Wenatchee NF
B: Sycan Marsh TNC & Fremont-Winema NF
C: Payette NF
D: Boise NF
E: Helena NF
F: San Juan NF
G: Kaibab NF & Coconino NF
H: Gila and Apache/Sitgreaves NF