Habitat Maintenance

Because wildlife numbers respond to changes in the environment, maintaining habitat is key to supporting stable populations over time. High Branch can draw from a variety of proven stewardship methods to sustain wildlife populations where they already occur on your land. Here are examples of general strategies that we can tailor to site conditions and incorporate into forest management plans, land stewardship plans, and routine property maintenance.

Target group: songbirds that breed in mature forests (canopy, subcanopy, and ground nesters)

Examples: scarlet tanager, Blackburnian warbler, northern Parula, hermit thrush, black-throated blue warbler, eastern wood-pewee, ovenbird

Prescriptions: single-tree and group-selection harvests

Target groups: songbirds that breed in young forest and mature-forest breeders that concentrate in young forest after nesting and during migration

Examples: chestnut-sided warbler, magnolia warbler, Canada warbler, least flycatcher, indigo bunting, veery, American redstart, black-throated green warbler, blue-headed vireo

Prescriptions: patch, regeneration, and shelterwood cuts

Target group: songbirds that favor park-like settings or a mix of forest age classes

Examples: Baltimore oriole, black-capped chickadee, rose-breasted grosbeak, tufted titmouse, white-breasted nuthatch, cedar waxwing, northern flicker

Prescriptions: shelterwood harvest, group-selection or patch cuts with patterned rotation

Target group: native ungulates

Examples: moose, white-tailed deer

Prescriptions: cultivation of dense softwood cover with shrubby openings on gentle slopes and hilltops for moose and on steep, southwest slopes or in lowland conifers for deer

Target group: upland game birds

Examples: ruffed grouse, American woodcock, wild turkey

Prescriptions: short harvest rotations and broad forest-field edges for ruffed grouse and American woodcock, drumming logs and young aspen for grouse, courtship clearings and riparian thickets for woodcock, acorn mast and buffered seeps for turkeys

Target group: nuisance wildlife

Examples: white-tailed deer, beaver, mole, raccoon, skunk, squirrel, woodchuck

Prescriptions: fencing, netting, squirrel and beaver baffles, repellents, live-trapping and removal, and hunting

Target groups: meadow insects and birds

Examples: butterflies, bumblebees, dragonflies, fireflies, bluebirds, savannah sparrows, bobolinks, meadowlarks

Prescriptions: wildflower cultivation, interspersion of grassy areas and flowering trees, sheltering woodpiles for overwintering insects, mowing and brush-hogging regimes timed to support successful bird nesting, equipment adjustments to reduce risk of direct mortality

Target group: backyard birds

Examples: ruby-throated hummingbird, downy woodpecker, cedar waxwing, pine siskin, dark-eyed junco, resident sparrows (chipping and song), migrating sparrows (tree, white-throated, white-crowned), American goldfinch, evening grosbeak, northern cardinal

Prescriptions: planting, pruning, and release of fruit trees, bird feeders and feed selection, birdbaths, lawn reduction and diversification, layering of vegetation from herbs to overstory, mix of native tree species (deciduous and coniferous)