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New Songbird Study Underway at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
Northeast Region, July 24, 2014
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Frostburg biologist Justin Bower conducting bird survey at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.
Frostburg biologist Justin Bower conducting bird survey at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. - Photo Credit: Megan Spindler

Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge has teamed up with Frostburg State University to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of bird communities using early successional habitats on the Refuge. Recent Frostburg graduate Justin Bower is leading the field work this year under the direction of Dr. Frank Ammer. The Refuge manages brushland and grassland habitats through staggered, 1-8 year rotational cuts. Fourteen brushland and 29 grassland management units have been selected for the study. Justin conducted point count bird surveys between May and July of this year to document breeding and foraging habitat use by birds. He also surveyed the vegetation to link bird presence with various habitat features. Plans are to repeat the surveys in 2015. The two-year study will provide important information to help achieve habitat management objectives outlined in the Refuge’s 15-year Comprehensive Conservation Plan. For example, findings from the study will identify which rotational cuts provide the most benefit to refuge focal species like the American woodcock, blue-winged warbler, and Northern harrier, and may reveal important areas to maintain for rare species.


Contact Info: Steve Henry, 973-425-1222 x-157, steven_s_henry@fws.gov



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