Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Eastern Towhee, Willow Flycatcher, Alder Flycatcher, Field Sparrow, Prairie Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, Mourning Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Nashville Warbler, White-throated Sparrow, Clay-colored Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Indigo Bunting, Orchard Oriole
The decline of shrub habitat has become a conservation concern throughout the northeastern United States. Because changes in shrub habitat are difficult to track, bird species that are shrub specialists serve as an important indicator of the status of this habitat.
- Species associated almost exclusively with open landscapes populated by large, scattered shrubs (Brown Thrasher, Eastern Towhee, and Field Sparrow) showed losses in block occupancy (from 44 to 63% of Priority 1 blocks).
- Shrub-associated species found mainly in regenerating forests or forest edges (e.g., Mourning Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Nashville Warbler, and White-throated Sparrow) were generally stable.
- Results for species with a more general association with shrubs were mixed: Song Sparrow and Yellow Warbler were stable, and Gray Catbird decreased by 7 percent.
- Prairie Warbler found in greater proportion of blocks, but with limited distribution.
- Block occupancy of Golden-winged and Blue-winged warblers, and Indigo Bunting, which prefer overgrown orchards or abandoned agricultural lands with scattered, taller trees, held steady or increased.
- Clay-colored Sparrow maintains small population in Grande Isle County.
- Increases in Alder and Willow flycatchers reflected region-wide range expansions due to range expansions.