Dr. Robert Craig'
Dr. Robert Craig
, locally famous ornithologist, author and teacher has studied bird populations in all quarters of Connecticut and Rhode Island in every season.
Dr. Craig founded Bird Conservation Research (BCR) in 1999.
This non-profit research foundation formulates scientific evaluation which provides municipalities, land trusts and others in making informed decisions regarding open space acquisitions and their management.
In this vein Robert
has written texts which have been very helpful to towns interested in making careful choices in land set-asides.
I asked Rob
to share some lesser known facts regarding our regional woodlands and bird populations.
pointed out that forest communities are dynamic; woodlands metamorphose over long periods of time, transitioning through various successions until maturity is achieved.
tells us species doing well presently include Ovenbirds, Veery, Red-eyed Vireo and Scarlet Tanagers.
Another interesting point Robert
made is that even on substantial land set-asides but those near larger cities, the number of species living in these preserves are many less than they would be if near smaller towns.
Though it's difficult to know with certainty several factors may contribute to the diminished number of species: feral cats and increased human foot traffic upset ground-nesting species.
Skewed balances of plant species might directly dissuade species which might more heavily depend on those plants in fewer numbers.
Also, soaring squirrel populations can tip the balance and impact species competing for the same foods.
A more hopeful piece of Dr. Craig's
research has demonstrated that many species congregate and winter in southern Connecticut.