Observation of forest-interior bird communities in older-growth forests in eastern Kentucky

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 1998


Quantitative data on the composition of forest-interior bird communities in older-growth forests of eastern Kentucky are needed to assess the status of potential source populations of birds for an increasingly fragmented-forest landscape. We surveyed forest-interior bird communities in Robinson Forest, Breathitt County, and Lilly Cornett Woods, Letcher County, Kentucky, in May and June 1994 and 1995. Red-eyed vireo (Vireo olivaceus), ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus), black-throated green warbler (Dendroica virens), and acadian flycatcher (Empidonax virescens) in that order were the four species most frequently recorded. Two additional species, solitary vireo (V. solitarius) and common raven (Corvus corax), were observed in Breathitt County, where breeding populations of these species have not been reported. Although only a single brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) was noted in surveys, it does indicate that this species enters intact blocks of forest in eastern Kentucky; a need exists for information on nest success and parasitism levels by brown-headed cowbirds in such forests in eastern Kentucky.


"This project was funded by the Department of Forestry, University of Kentucky. We thank the personnel of Robinson Forest and Lilley Cornett Woods for logistical support. B. Palmer-Ball provided helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper. Our investigation (97-09-10) is connected with a project of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station and is published with approval of the director." (p. 177)

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