We studied a newly established population of Kirtland's Warbler (Dendroica kirtlandii) in Adams County, Wisconsin, nesting in a red pine (Pinus resinosa) plantation. We found eight males and five females in Adams County in 2008 and 10 males and 10 females in 2009. Five of seven (71%) males color-banded in 2008 returned in 2009, and at least eight successful nests produced an estimated 33 young over the 2 years. Red pine comprised 66.9% of trees on the main site, 20.6% were northern pin oak/black oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis/Q. velutina), and 12.5% were jack pine (Pinus banksiana). Total tree density at the main site was 1,876 trees/ha, lower than generally reported in Michigan. Percent canopy cover and ground cover types were similar to Michigan sites. Lowest live branch height of jack pine was similar to Michigan sites, but lowest live branches of red pine at our site were closer to the forest floor. Significant red pine die-off at our site combined with substantial natural jack pine recruitment created a landscape matrix of openings and thickets that produced suitable Kirtland's Warbler habitat. We suggest young red pine-dominated plantations should be searched when surveying for Kirtland's Warblers as some lower-density red pine plantations could provide important supplemental habitat as the species expands its range.
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Vol. 123 • No. 2