Breeding Bird Populations during Twenty-Five Years of Postfire Succession in the Sierra Nevada Academic Article uri icon


  • From 1969-1983 shrub cover on the burned plot increased from 22% to >43%, and density of overstory trees increased by c50%. Herb and grass cover decreased, as did density of snags originally resulting from the fire. During this period of rapid postfire succession, total density of birds was nearly equal on the 2 plots but species richness increased on the burned plot compared with the unburned plot. Ground- and brush-foraging birds were more numerous on the burned plot, and their population size increased significantly from 1966-1985. Foliage-searching birds were more numerous on the unburned plot, and their populations were stable over time. Numbers of foliage-searching birds increased significantly om the unburned plot. Bark-gleaning birds declined the unburned plot, probably in response to loss of snags used for nesting by most of these species. Changing vegetation structure resulted in predictable trends related to the foraging and nesting habits of the birds. -from Authors

published proceedings

  • The Condor

author list (cited authors)

  • Raphael, M. G., Morrison, M. L., & Yoder-Williams, M. P.

citation count

  • 82

publication date

  • August 1987