Bachman’s Sparrows

Captive Bachman's Sparrow

Captive Bachman’s Sparrow

The Bachman’s Sparrow is one of the most fire-dependent birds in North America. In our region, preferred habitat conditions are highly ephemeral and fall within a narrow window of time that begins two months after a prescribed fire and persists for another 14-16 months. Singing males may defend territories in areas that haven’t been burned within the past 18 months, but ground cover conditions are generally too thick at this point for nesting.

Given the ephemeral nature of its habitat, Bachman’s Sparrows provide an intriguing model for studying movement patterns and patch occupancy in a landscape that is ever-changing. Most of our work on has been performed on the Wade Tract , one of the most pristine southern pine forests to be found anywhere. We have monitored a large color-marked population here for the past 6 years and produced lots of new information on nest site characteristics, survival, and other key biological traits. While we continue to monitor this population, we are also starting to study populations on sites where suitable conditions and fire management are more variable.

Wade Tract

Wade Tract

Captive Bachman's Sparrow

 

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