[CT Birds] Chestnut-sided warbler populations

Shaun Martin nitram587 at hotmail.com
Tue May 18 21:08:26 EDT 2010

Although it is great that Chestnut-sided warblers were encountered in a large numbers, I don't think it is safe to say that this correlates to a healthy population. A singing male, or the presence of a male or female will not neccesarily mean that they are going to succeed in finding a mate and raise young. I think with these birds it is more a fact that they have such limited breeding areas due to the loss of successional habitat across a large area of CT. This means that any area of habitat that looks good to a Chestnut-sided may draw it in, but that area may not provide it with the appropriate requirements to successfully breed. Im not all that old, but just in my few years of birding in and around Greenwich I have seen a significant decrease in Chestnut-sided warblers (all but gone) and associated succesional birds. I hope that this is more of a result from lack of appropriate habitat then a decrease in the population, but in areas of what could be potential breeding around Greenwich, birds are absent. I'm not saying that this warbler is not easy to find across the state, but it seems that populations as a whole are declining every year. Who knows, maybe there are more of these birds around then we know, I certainly hope so, and in other states these species are holding on strong, but many succesional birds seem to be in serious trouble across historical areas of CT (especially my end of the state). I dont mean to sound like a negative nancy, but having spent the last few months writing management plans for succesional birds, I think more factors then just seeing a bird correlate to a healthy population. On a good news note, I know the state has dedicated a large amount of resources into creating succesional habitat to support succesional dependent bird communities the last few years. Hopefully this will increase the states populations of succesional birds (and total populations), so we will not need to write in Thrasher to the list serve and worry about Field Sparrows and Prairie Warblers anymore. 

Shaun Martin
The New Busy think 9 to 5 is a cute idea. Combine multiple calendars with Hotmail. 

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