Partners in Flight Bird Conservation Plan: The Southern Blue Ridge (Physiographic Area 23)
Over 155 bird species nest in the Southern Blue Ridge. Widespread and representative species include dark-eyed junco, northern cardinal, black-throated blue warbler, Carolina wren and blue-headed vireo. Appalachian populations of Bewick’s wren, yellow-bellied sapsucker, northern saw-whet owl, and black-capped chickadee, as well as golden-winged, Swainson’s and cerulean warblers are rare or uncommon, have very specific habitat requirements and serve as umbrella, or focal, species for conservation planning efforts. Of these birds, a large proportion is nearctic-neotropical migrants dependent on mature forest. Examples include Louisiana waterthrush, Acadian flycatcher, veery, ovenbird and Canada warbler. Furthermore, species associated with frequently disturbed and/or early successional habitats like prairie warbler, field sparrow, and northern bobwhite have also suffered significant population declines in the recent past and warrant conservation attention.