The olive-sided flycatcher (Contopus cooperi) is a fairly common breeder in northern New England, rarer in the southern part of BCR 14. It prefers high-elevation spruce-fir forests or the borders of northern bogs and muskegs. It needs tall exposed perches near openings of various sorts. It is listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in one or more states in BCR 14.

Habitat Needs

This bird is an insect-hawker so high exposed perches from which to hunt bugs are an important element of its habitat. These perches can be dead or alive in and around coniferous forests, usually at higher elevations, or adjacent to bogs, muskeg areas, stream borders, or clearcuts.

Its territory size ranges from 4 to 8 acres.

Habitat Management Practices

The key to managing for this species lies in the retention of dead or alive perch trees in softwood clearcuts and around bogs and other riparian areas.

When assessing a property for habitat potential, look for poorly drained high-elevation soils in Important Forest Soil Groups IIB such as Bemis, Cabot, Monarda. Soils at lower elevations also in Important Forest Soil Groups IIB include Lyme, Moosilauke, Pillsbury, Ridgebury or Stissing. There are other applicable soil series depending on the location in BCR 14.

Silvicultural Practices

Lower elevation spruce-fir

  • Use the even-aged system creating patches larger than 5 acres. Leave about five standing, living or dead trees per acre in the patches.
  • An uneven-age system creates cut groups that are usually less than 3 acres. This system is less likely to provide areas in suitable home-range sizes unless the cut units are adjacent to bogs, muskeg areas or other similar types of openings. Leave the same five perch trees per acre.
  • Direct management so that it maintains or increases the softwood component.

In general, avoid cutting above 3,000 feet. If cutting is deemed necessary, use the following guidelines and see the High-Elevation chapter 7.6 (pages 167-169) in Good Forestry in the Granite State for additional information:

  • Maintain or increase the softwood component.
  • Maintain a structure that contains at least 60 percent of the harvest area in trees with diameters of 4 inches or more.
  • Leave 10 percent of the area uncut.
  • Allow no more than 30 percent of the cut area to be in a size class of less than 4 inches.
  • Extend rotation ages by 30 percent or more with corresponding extended entry times.
  • Operate to minimize erosion control such as on frozen ground.
  • Use current methods to minimize soils compaction as well as erosion.
  • Leave at least five dead or living perch trees per acre of cut.

Additional Information