New Video Series on Managing Ohio Forests for Birds

A new video series developed by the Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative highlights the importance of proper forest management in improving a diversity of habitat for birds and other wildlife. The series focuses on several Ohio private landowners, detailing their experiences managing and improving conditions of their woodlands and the beneficial changes in the bird community following such actions.
Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative video
"With fewer sources of natural disturbances such as a forest fire, active management plays a crucial role in creating and maintaining early-successional forest, or young forests, on the landscape," said Matthew Shumar, Program Coordinator for the Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative. "When responsibly planned and implemented, such management activities can be a valuable tool for creating and improving habitat for birds."

Initiating changes to forest structure that create a more diverse and healthy forest can be daunting for woodland owners. Through this video series, landowners can learn critical information and access tools and resources needed to manage their property for wildlife.

Topics covered include: Experiences from Ohio's Woodland Owners; Creating Early-successional Habitat; Thinning and Crop-tree Release; Managing Invasive Species; and Planning for a Better Timber Harvest. The videos are available through the Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative's youtube channel:

Though focused on landowners and properties in Ohio, the videos are a great educational resource for land managers and private landowners in other states and regions, since they focus on a variety of forest topics and address numerous forest and wildlife issues.

The video series was developed to help land managers improve forest habitat for birds, and illustrates recommendations from Managing Forest Birds in Southeast Ohio: A Guide for Land Managers. The guide was developed by the Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative and its partners, and written by Amanda Rodewald, Director of Conservation Science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and former faculty member at The Ohio State University.

Eastern towhee

Eastern towhees quickly inhabit new young forest created by landowners' forestry practices./USFWS

The management recommendations in the guide are based on research conducted in the forested landscapes of southeastern Ohio by The Ohio State University and Ohio Division of Wildlife. The guide includes recommendations for creating early successional habitat (often called young forest), planning shelterwood harvests, and managing mature forests to benefit birds.

Along with the Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative, the following conservation entities were instrumental in developing the videos: Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture; Ohio Department of Natural Resources – Division of Wildlife; Ohio Department of Natural Resources – Division of Forestry; The Ohio State University; and The Nature Conservancy in Ohio.

The Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative is a collaboration of non-profit groups, businesses, state and federal government agencies, and citizens that are participating in or are interested in bird conservation for the state of Ohio. The Initiative has come together for one main purpose – to ensure the conservation and effective management of birds in Ohio.