Birds of forests and woodlands

Some North American birds live chiefly in needleleaf forests-that is, forests in which the dominant trees have narrow, needlelike leaves, such as firs, pines, and spruces. Needleleaf forests cover much of Canada and Alaska and mountainous areas of the western United States. Typical birds of these forests include the Blackburnian warbler, common creeper, gray jay, red-breasted nuthatch, ruby-crowned kinglet, and winter wren.

Certain other birds live chiefly in forests of broadleaf trees, which have broad, flat leaves that fall off each autumn. Such trees include the ash, beech, elm, maple, and oak. Broadleaf forests grow mainly in the eastern half of the United States and southeastern Canada. Typical birds of these forests include the American redstart, Baltimore oriole, ovenbird, scarlet tanager, tufted titmouse, and white-breasted nuthatch. Some birds, such as the hairy woodpecker and yellow-bellied sapsucker, inhabit both needleleaf forests and broadleaf forests.

Certain birds prefer open woodlands to dense forests. Open woodlands are areas of scattered trees. They are found mainly on the edges of forests, along riverbanks, and in suburban areas. Birds that nest in open woodlands include the cedar waxwing, downy woodpecker, house wren, rosebreasted grosbeak, yellow-billed cuckoo, and northern flicker. Red-eyed vireos live in almost any area that has broadleaf trees.

Many birds inhabit a particular level of a forest or woodland. For example, grosbeaks, tanagers, and many kinds of wood warblers live mainly in the treetops. Nuthatches and woodpeckers live farther down on the branches and trunks. Ovenbirds and winter wrens live chiefly on the forest or woodland floor.

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