Although Swainson's warbler (Limnothlypis swainsonii) is typically associated with bottomland hardwood forests, they also breed in even-age pine (Pinus spp.) plantations. We used mist nets and point counts from 1998–2000 to survey intensively managed even-age loblolly pine (P. taeda) plantations of different age classes and management histories to determine breeding status and stand structure preferences of Swainson's warbler in southeastern Louisiana, USA. We detected Swainson's warblers in 23 of 124 sampled loblolly pine stands. We also confirmed breeding in 7–24-year-old pine stands. We found Swainson's warblers in pine stands that had well-developed canopy closure, abundant understory vegetation, and sparse live ground cover. Floristic differences between hardwood and pine breeding habitats demonstrate that Swainson's warblers do not require specific vegetation composition, although they discriminate within habitats based on physical structure of vegetation. Although management of Swainson's warblers has generally been directed at bottomland hardwood forests, widespread use of pine plantations may offer additional management opportunities for this species of concern.
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Vol. 70 • No. 4