The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Forest Ecology Working Group, National Conservation Training Center, and Migratory Bird Program have developed a 12-part monthly lecture series to address the 50-year decline of 3 billion birds through partnerships, conservation science and forest management. The series tells a compelling story about forest bird population declines, partnership opportunities, and forest management actions that can support bird population recovery and sustainability.


After engaging with the entire series, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the decline of forest-dwelling birds in the U.S., identifying causes and risk factors
  • Apply species vulnerability assessment tools to identify priority bird species
  • Describe the importance of forest management planning from landscape to local scales, recognizing essential forest community composition and structure for bird conservation
  • Identify forest conservation and habitat management alternatives
Register for upcoming events: Forest for the Birds Webinar Series

Disclaimer: This webinar series is for educational purposes only. The opinions, ideas or data presented in this webinar series do not represent USFWS policy or constitute endorsement by USFWS. Some of the materials and images may be protected by copyright or may have been licenses to us by a third party and are restricted in their use. Mention of any product names, companies, web links, textbooks, or other references does not imply Federal endorsement.

Webinar Descriptions

Webinar 1 - Loss and Recovery of North American Birds

  • Details: Ken Rosenberg discusses the findings of his influential co-authored paper published in Science (Rosenberg et al. 2019), which describes how North America has lost about 3 billion birds since 1970. The declines are not restricted to rare and threatened species; those once considered common and widespread are also diminished. About one third of this decline are forest dwelling species, including wood warblers, aerial insectivores, finches, and thrushes. Ken discusses the threats of forest habitat loss, climate change, pesticides, and other factors, and identifies opportunities for bird population recovery. This work has major implications for forest ecosystem integrity, the conservation of forest birds, and policies associated with the protection of birds and the ecosystems on which they depend.

  • Presenters: Jerome Ford (USFWS) and Ken Rosenberg (Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and American Bird Conservancy)

  • Recorded: March 16, 2021

  • Duration: 57 Minutes

    Resource: Q & A

Webinar 2 - Managing and Conserving Forests for Avian Biodiversity

  • Details:

  • Doom and Gloom? - Broad-sale drivers of breeding habitat and population changes (including climate and land-use change/ habitat fragmentation, forest degradation).

  • If you build it, will they come? - Fine-scale drivers of bird habitat: silviculture, other disturbances.

  • They Way Forward - Guidelines for determining breeding habitat amounts (thresholds, population viability, historical range of variation) and how to plan forest landscapes that work for bird conservation.

  • Presenters: Matt Betts (Oregon State University)

  • Recorded: April 20, 2021

  • Duration: 62 Minutes

    Resource: Q & A

Webinar 3 - Climate Change, Adaptation and Impacts on Forest Bird Recovery

  • Details: Maria Janowiak and Steve Matthews first talk about climate change impacts on forests and habitats, and then talk about impacts on birds. They introduce the three interrelated issues of shifting seasons, shifting stressors and finally shifting species. For example, growing seasons have increased ~2 weeks in past century. In addition to overall shifts in the seasons, there’s strong evidence that the climate is becoming more extreme and variable. They also introduce tools for adapting forest dependent birds and their habitats in light of climate change, such as the Climate Change Tree and Bird Atlases (

  • Presenters: Maria Janowiak (U.S. Forest Service) and Steve Matthews (Ohio State University)

  • Recorded: 5/18/2021

  • Duration: 65 Minutes

    Resource: Q & A

Webinar 4 - Blueprint for Success - How and Where to Focus Bird Conservation

  • Details: Speaker Bob Ford, who is the USFWS - National PIF Coordinator, discusses the importance of landscape scale conservation design in the context of how landscape influences stand level management decisions. He explains how the “2016 Partners in Flight Plan” is a blueprint for regional forest bird conservation across the country. He also explains tools like the "half-life" metric, which considers area importance to better understand breeding bird populations needs. Bob also introduces cases studies like the Lower Mississippi Valley Joint Venture’s success with the management of bottomland hardwood forests in the Mississippi alluvial valley.

  • Presenters: Bob Ford (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

  • Recorded: 6/22/2021

  • Duration: 55 Minutes

    Resource: Bottomland Hardwood Forests of the MAV

Webinar 5 - The Habitat Matrix - Stepping Down Bird Management from Landscape to Stand

  • Details: Speaker Jeff Larkin of Indiana University of PA and the American Bird Conservancy discussed the importance of implementing forest bird conservation at biologically meaningful scales both spatially and temporally. He describes stepping down landscape scale bird conservation plans and strategies to the forest stand level. He also talks about how essential good forest management is to creating a diversity of forest structure, and how that assists many forest bird species trying to survive in forests that offer very little diversity of habitat structure.

  • Presenters: Jeffrey L. Larkin (Indiana University of Pennsylvania and American Bird Conservancy)

  • Recorded: 7/20/2021

  • Duration: 66 Minutes


Webinar 6 - Stand-level Forest Management: Desired Forest Conditions for Wildlife

  • Details: Speaker Randy Wilson of the USFWS discussed how the ecosystem based approach to bird conservation shifted the conservation paradigm from a resource based, opportunistic approach, towards a science-based, strategic pursuit of sustainable landscapes. That approach however requires managing for population sustainability at multiple spatial scales and then translating bird habitat needs into forest management prescriptions. Desired forest conditions (DFCs) for wildlife are the mechanism the FWS has used to implement this approach.

  • Presenters: Randy Wilson, Station Leader (Migratory Bird Field Station, Jackson, MS. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

  • Recorded: 8/17/2021

  • Duration: 59 Minutes