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from photographer Ann & Rob Simpson


red-headed barbet, Eubucco bourcierii, Savegre, Savegre Mountain Hotel, San Gerardo...

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Caption: red-headed barbet, Eubucco bourcierii, Savegre, Savegre Mountain Hotel, San Gerardo de Doto, Cabinas Chacon, Talamanca Mountains, cloud forest, Cerro de La Muerte, Costa Rica, Central America, It is found in humid highland forest in Costa Rica and Panama, as well as the Andes in western Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and far northern Peru. The diet of the red-headed barbet may include bananas and various other fruits. BarbetRh47077zx2s.jpg
Location: San Gerardo de Doto
Copyright: © Ann & Rob Simpson
Agent: www.agpix.com/snphotos
Release Available: © Fees for one time use only unless negotiated otherwise
AGPix ID: AGPix_RoAnSi18_0895
Photo Alignment: 35mm (horizontal)
Comments: © Ann & Rob Simpson - Simpson's Nature Photography, 1932 E Refuge Church Rd., Stephens City, VA 22655 Ph & Fax 540 869 2051 - AnnRobSimpson@snphotos.com - www.agpix.com/snphotos

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Ann & Rob Simpson
1932 E Refuge Church Rd.
Stephens City VA 22655-9607

Phone:
540 869-2051

Fax:
540 869-2051

Email:
annrobsimpson@snphotos.com

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The endangered Kirtland's warbler is one of the rarest members of the wood warbler (Parulidae) family. It is a bird of unusual interest for many reasons. It nests in just a few counties in Michigan's northern Lower and Upper peninsulas, in Wisconsin and the province of Ontario and, currently, nowhere else on Earth. Its nests generally are concealed in mixed vegetation of grasses and shrubs below the living branches of five to 20 year old jack pine (Pinus banksiana) forests. North America; Canada; Central Canada {Central provinces}; Ontario; Point Pelee National Park, one of the best bird migration concentration spots in the world, animals; wildlife {undomesticated animals}; birds {avain, aves, bird}; warbler; Kirtland's Warbler, Dendroica kirtlandii, endangered species. The jack pine forest community provides the primary nesting habitat for the Kirtland's warbler. This forest species is adapted to dry land conditions and has been present on the sandy outwash plains of northern Michigan since the retreat of the Wisconsin ice sheet about 14,000 years ago. A narrow, band of jack pine habitat can be found across the north central states and the province of Ontario.  The Kirtland's warbler has very restrictive habitat requirements. In addition to being ground nesters, Kirtland's warblers prefer jack pine stands over 80 acres in size. Those stands, which are most suitable for breeding, are characterized by having dense clumps of trees interspersed with numerous small, grassy openings, sedges, ferns, and low shrubs. The birds nest on the ground under the living branches of the small trees. Jack pine stands are used for nesting when trees are about five feet high or about five to eight years of age. Nesting continues in these stands until the lower branches of the trees start dying, or when the trees reach a height of 16 to 20 feet (about 16 to 20 years of age). A breeding pair of warblers usually requires about six to ten acres for their nesting territory, although as little as 1.5 acres may be adequate under optimal conditions.  Nearly all nesting occurs in jack pine stands where the soil type is Grayling sand. This is an extremely well drained sandy soil with low humus and nutrient content. Water percolates through the sand so quickly that nests seldom are flooded during a rainstorm. This soil also supports the plant community required for nesting habitat.  Fire always has been an important disturbance factor in the jack pine barrens. The young jack pines upon which the Kirtland's warbler depends grow after fire removes older trees and rejuvenates the forest. Heat from fire opens jack pine cones to release seeds. Fire also prepares the ground for the germination of the seeds.  Historically, the jack pine barrens were maintained by naturally occurring wildfires that swept through the region. The jack pine held little value for the lumbermen who came in search of white pine. Once logging activity ended in the 1880's, the continuing forest fires helped increase the range of jack pine, which created more nesting habitat. As a result, the Kirtland's warbler population reached its peak between 1885 and 1900.  With the advent of modern fire protection and suppression efforts, forest management practices did not emphasize the regeneration of jack pine. Consequently, there was a drastic decline of available warbler nesting habitat, and its numbers plummeted. In order to provide appropriate habitat for the Kirtland's warbler, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources created four areas within state and national forests to be managed specifically for Kirtland's warbler nesting habitat between 1957 and 1962. By 1973, these areas contained 53% of the nesting population.  It was clear that providing more jack pine areas would be necessary to increase the Kirtland's warbler population. During the mid 1970s, some 134,000 acres of jack pine were designated for management as Kirtland's warbler nesting habitat within 24 management areas of state and national forests. Additional lands were added through the 1990's to bring the total public land specifically set aside for the Kirtland's warbler to more than 150,000 acres.  Jack pine stands are managed by logging, burning, seeding, and replanting on a rotational basis to provide approximately 38,000 acres of productive nesting habitat at all times. By carrying these stands to a 50 year rotational age, nesting habitat can be maintained for the warblers with little sacrifice to the commercial harvest of jack pine. These jack pine stands also provide habitat for the upland sandpiper, Eastern bluebird, white tailed deer, black bear and snowshoe hare, and for several protected prairie plants, including the Allegheny plum, Hill's thistle, and rough fescue. Unfortunately, the jack pine habitat also provides a home for the brown headed cowbird, an undesirable nest parasite. The brown headed cowbird (Molothrus ater), once called the
© Ann & Rob Simpson
American Bison, Bison bison, Sage Creek Rim Road, South Dakota; Badlands National Park {Badlands}, North America; United States of America {America, U.S., United States, US, USA}; mammals {mammal}; ruminant {ruminants};  {buffalo}
© Ann & Rob Simpson / www.snphotos.com