Fire & Wildlife
We monitored the response of cavity-nesting species to three snag density treatments (high = 37-80 snags/ha, medium = 15-35 snags/ha, and low = 0-12 snags/ha) during two breeding seasons 4-5 yr post-fire and logging in Douglas-fir- ponderosa pine forests in the eastern Cascades, Washington. Snag surveys were used to describe habitat, and both breeding bird surveys and nest surveys were used to characterize the bird community. Stands with the medium snag density treatment had the highest abundance, species richness, and nesting population of cavity nesters. The reasons for this may be: 1) snags were not evenly distributed within a stand such that both clumped and dispersed snag density habitats were interspersed in this treatment, and 2) a greater proportion of ponderosa pine snags in medium density treatments may have attracted species that prefer ponderosa pine for nesting and foraging. Ponderosa pine was preferred for nest sites and large snags (>48 cm dbh) provided nesting habitat for more species than smaller snags. However, smaller snags were used for nesting and foraging by some species.