Birds of harvested and unharvested pine-oak forests, Chihuahua, Mexico

Andrew M. Miller, Carol L. Chambers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Secondary pine-oak (Pinus-Quercus) forests of the Sierra Madre Occidental are a dominant forest structure in Mexico, but have received little attention from ornithologists. In 2002, we recorded breeding birds and vegetation characteristics in a second-growth pine-oak forest in southwestern Chihuahua. We categorized birds into nesting guilds and predicted their response to forest management. We recorded 1,446 individuals representing 44 species. The most abundant species were in 4 nesting guilds: generalist, secondary cavity, ground, or shrub nesters (89% of observations). We rarely recorded species listed as endangered or under special protection. Second-growth forests were open canopy, uneven aged, and dominated by small pine trees. Pines in largest size classes had been removed and there were few large pine snags. We conducted limited surveys in an old-growth pine-oak forest in 2003. Despite lower effort, we recorded twice the number of primary cavity nesters, suggesting snags were limiting in second-growth forest. Shrub nesters were higher in abundance in the second-growth forest, suggesting removal of overstory increased shrubs. Understanding species-habitat relationships is essential for long-term conservation within this species-rich ecosystem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-283
Number of pages13
JournalSouthwestern Naturalist
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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