Straight on the heels of the news that gravel pits provide excellent butterfly habitat, researchers from Connecticut College have revealed that open corridors along power lines–also called right-of-ways, or ROWs–may offer shrubland bird species a place to nest.
This finding resulted from a three-year study of 93 ROW plots in southeastern Connecticut. Selective removal of trees from the plots keeps the power lines and their maintenance crews safe from potentially dangerous branches, while also preserving a perpetual early-successional shrubland habitat. Since many shrub-loving bird species have been declining in North America over the past several decades–often as a result of habitat loss–the designers of the current study hypothesized that ROWs might provide some much-needed breeding and feeding grounds.
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