Effects of Forest Stand Structure and Composition on Red-Breasted Nuthatches and Brown Creepers Academic Article uri icon


  • Studied the use of forest resources by Certhia americana and Sitta canadensis in forest stands on the W slope of the Sierra Nevada. Both species used stands with a diverse structure characteristic of mature mixed-conifer forests. Intensity of stand use was correlated with the percent basal area of sugar pine Pinus lambertiana over all sample periods. Creepers used incense cedar Calocedrus decurrens more than any other tree species throughout the year, and foraged more on incense cedar in January-February than in spring and summer. Nuthatches were more varied in their use of tree species, and spent more time on California black oak Quercus kelloggii in May-June than in September-October. Creepers foraged almost exclusively on tree trunks, whereas nuthatches used a greater variety of substrates and foraging modes. Density of bark-surface arthropods varied among tree species, sample periods, and forest stands. Incense cedar had the highest arthropod density throughout the year. Arthropod density was negatively correlated with trunk diameter for all tree species, but no significant relationships between arthropod density and bird foraging behavior or stand use were detected. Resource managers should maintain a diversity of stand structure and species compositions to meet year-round habitat requirements of bark-foraging birds in the Sierra Nevada. -from Authors

published proceedings

  • Journal of Wildlife Management

author list (cited authors)

  • Adams, E. M., & Morrison, M. L.

citation count

  • 36

complete list of authors

  • Adams, Elizabeth M||Morrison, Michael L

publication date

  • July 1993