Workshop Explores Woodland Management with Birds in Mind

SKOWHEGAN – In spring Maine woodlands fill with the songs and colors of warblers, thrushes and other forest songbirds. 

Unfortunately, populations of our woodland birds are in decline.  For some species, the declines are as great as 80 percent over the last four decades, and the number of species is declining as well. Woodland owners and managers are key to halting these declines and ensuring that our forest songbirds remain a familiar facet of spring.

Yellow-rumped warbler, J. Brockway 2019

Yellow-rumped warbler, J. Brockway 2019

Landowners, foresters and loggers interested in learning how they can support Maine’s forest songbirds are invited to attend a Forestry for Maine Birds workshop from 9 AM to Noon, Saturday, June 22.  The workshop will be held at Somerset County Cooperative Extension office, 7 County Dr. in Skowhegan, and on the adjacent Yankee Woodlot Demonstration Forest.

Forestry for Maine Birds (FFMB) is a new approach to integrating bird conservation with forest management and planning.  In the workshop, participants will learn how to:

·         Improve habitat for priority forest birds and a variety of other wildlife species,

·         Take care of their woodlands,

·         Work with other forest management goals, and

·         Enhance the value and enjoyment of Maine woodlands for many generations to come.

The majority of the workshop will be outdoors in the Yankee Woodlot, providing an opportunity to see how physical features – from rotting trees to dense vegetation – provide important habitat that can be enhanced through woodland management choices.  Workshop instructors are Amanda Mahaffey, Northeast Region Director of the Forest Stewards Guild and Sally Stockwell, Director of Conservation at Maine Audubon.  This workshop has been approved for 2.5 Category 1 CFE credits.

This FFMB workshop is co-hosted by Somerset County SWCD and Piscataquis County SWCD in partnership with Forest Stewards Guild, Maine Audubon, Maine Forest Service and Maine Woodland Owners - Upper Kennebec Valley Chapter.  The event is free but space is limited and advanced registration is required.  To sign up or for more information, contact Jennifer Brockway, Somerset County SWCD, at 207-679-7306 or

More information about the Forestry for Maine Birds approach may be found online at

header photo: yellow warbler, J. Brockway 2019