In northern Maine, forestry practices create shifting habitat for migrating songbirds


TOWNSHIP 4, RANGE 14 — After flying from Central America this spring, a small, yellowish songbird called a mourning warbler homed in on a patch of forest northeast of Moosehead Lake and determined it was the right place to find a mate and raise a family.

This patch is no wildlife refuge. Five or so years ago, loggers harvested most of the trees, leaving a tangle of branches and trunks. Now waist-high maples and alders, raspberry bushes and ferns are emerging amid the slash. It’s the perfect habitat for this warbler, a secretive bird that likes to nest near the ground, eat insects and spiders and is more frequently heard than seen.