Effects of residential development on songbird diversity and density in Cheshire County, New Hampshire

Tanino, Lance
Jon Atwood, PhD
Department of Environmental Studies
Migratory and resident songbirds were surveyed in suburban neighborhoods and nearby undeveloped areas of mixed northern hardwood forests in the towns of Keene and Swanzey, NH. Point-transect surveys were conducted between 7 April and 15 June, 2007. Across all species (neotropical migrant, north American migrants, and resident species) mean densities and indices of species diversity were higher in suburban neighborhoods than in undeveloped forest sights during both migration and breeding seasons. Ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapillus) and Black-Throated Green Warblers (Dendroica virens) were both characteristic of undeveloped forest areas. Morning Dove (Zenaida macroura), American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos), American Robin (Turdus migratorius), Chipping Sparrow (Spizela passerina) and American Gold Finch (Carduelis tristis) were characteristic of suburban neighborhoods areas. Both habitat types supported different bird communities, and both were important as spring migration stop over locations.