Building for Birds

An online evaluation tool for bird conservation in the built environment.

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Forest Fragments as Breeding and Wintering Habitat

During summer and wintering seasons, a variety of forest birds can use forest fragments within urban areas as habitat.

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Forest Fragments as Stopover Habitat

During the fall and spring, many migrating forest birds can use forest fragments as stopover sites to refuel and rest from their long journeys.

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Tree Canopy Cover in the Built Matrix

The amount of tree canopy cover in residential and commercial areas can serve as bird habitat during summer, winter and migration seasons.

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The goal of the building for birds online tool is to provide decision makers with a way to evaluate different development scenarios and how they affect habitat for different species of forest birds that can use fragmented areas. This evaluation tool should primarily be used for situations where the development footprint is relatively small and/or occurs in already fragmented landscapes.

Thus, no opportunity is available to conserve large forest areas that are 125 acres or more. Often, when land is subdivided, it costs time and money to conserve forest fragments and to conserve trees in residential/commercial areas, but there is value for many different species of forest birds. Forest fragments and trees conserved in built areas can serve as breeding, wintering, and stopover habitat for a variety of species..

A variety of bird species utilize habitat in and around urban areas. To determine bird habitat scores as a result of different development designs, one simply enters the amount of conserved forest fragments and conserved tree canopy cover in built areas. From these inputs, one can obtain a report for a particular scenario, containing a score for each of the bird habitat categories and a list of birds that could be found in each of these habitats. Go to the tool and follow the 5 steps!

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About Us

This work was supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Renewable Resources Extension Act, UF/IFAS project 1000606

can not see mark

Mark Hostetler, PhD



Jan-Michael Archer

Head of Design