All,

I am enjoying the slower pace since our breeding birds are here for a while
now.  This allows me to get back to my LOOB which I do have!  But when I
have time I like to enjoy our breeding birds and here in upstate NY in the
hills we have many beautiful warblers that nest.  This year I am looking
at  warblers that use conifers habitats especially with the hemlock wooley
adelgid moving into the southern tier and the needle cast fungal diseases
that are plaguing our conifers. This two species most common species in
mixed conifer/deciduous woods and fully coniferous woods here in Broome are
blackburnian and black throated green warblers.

First of all, fortunately, the hemlock wooley adelgid has not done any
noticeable damage but has been detected in Broome. On the other hand, many
of our white pine forests are being decimated by a needle cast fungal
disease. Whole forests are littered with dead pine needles. The new growth
survives but the rest of the needles fall off. From what I have read, the
needlecast only kills the weaker trees and some pines can be defoliated for
up to 10 years and not die. So I am not certain if these trees will succumb
or survive. It looks pretty bad right now in some forests.  Fortunately the
CCC Norway Spruce plantations which are pretty much mature have limited
problems at least in Broome. My observations clearly show that Blackburnian
warblers favor the spruce plantations even though they are not native.
Black Throated Green Warblers favor mixed hemlock, northern hardwood
forests composed of maple, beech, birch and northern red oak. But there are
weird exceptions where blackburnians dominate some mixed hemlock woods here
and there. I also noticed that blackburnian warblers are more likely to be
in mixed woods composed of white pine vs black throated greens which again
are mostly with hemlocks. Black Throated Greens really seem to avoid the
norway spruce plantations.

This seems counter to what I have read which states that blackburnian
warblers favor hemlocks the most. I don't see that around here at least.
They like the spruce plantations far more and white pine. I also have found
blackburnians don't seem to be bothered by woods that are seeing the
needlecast disease to the pine trees. They were quite common in Triangle
State Forest Broome Co where this disease is really bad. Many of the white
pines have almost no needles left except for a touch of new growth. They
look dead. Yet the blackburnians are still common in this tract of the
forest. This goes along with some recent research I read that showed
blackburnians were still present in woods hit hard by the hemlock wooley
adelgid given that the hemlocks were still holding on and not completely
dead.

Anyway, as was stated on this thread, now is the time for real bird
"watching"....

Please DISREGARD the previous email on this topic, I accidentally hit the
enter button before I proofread and finished my thoughts.


Best,
Dave Nicosia

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