Songbirds like the Wood thrush love to serenade the world, but they don’t just sing in any old spot, they need the perfect concert hall to carry their tune. For the Wood thrush, the ideal venue for a concert is the forest. They particularly like large forests with mature trees, moist soil and lots of smaller plants on the ground.
These days, finding a forest like this is becoming more difficult; habitat loss is a real threat for the Wood thrush and has led to their population declining by 50% in North America since 1966. As the Wood thrush disappears, the small, forested areas that remain are getting quiet as there are fewer and fewer songbirds left to bring music to the woods. The silence is becoming easier and easier to hear. That’s why Earth Rangers is working with the Nature Conservancy of Canada to protect the Wood thrush’s habitat.
Kids just like you have been starting Bring Back the Wild campaigns to help the Wood thrush. Donations raised have been used to purchase 25 acres of mature deciduous forest to expand the existing Tremblant-Prévost Natural Area in Quebec. This 25 acre expansion is part of a larger 16 km2 of forest. By expanding the amount of protected forest we’re working to create a HUGE area for the Wood thrush to live.
Why does the Wood thrush need such a big forest to call home? It’s all about safety! When Wood thrush live in smaller forests that are divided up they face a much greater risk of running into predators looking for bird nests along the forest edge, making the baby birds inside easy prey. Wood thrush living in smaller and fragmented forests are forced to build their nests closer to the edge of the forest instead of in the centre of a large tree covered area. These nests are also more likely to be parasitized by cowbirds who like to lay their eggs in Wood thrush nests. The cowbirds are imposters, or parasite nestlings, who soon take over the nest and make it harder for the Wood thrush babies to survive.
By adding land to the Tremblant-Prévost Natural Area we are not only protecting the Wood thrush but also other species that live in this forest, like endangered butternut trees and Pickerel frogs. This forest is a whole thriving ecosystem filled with living things, species that will continue to flourish thanks to the help of this conservation project. Now that the land has been purchased, the Nature Conservancy of Canada is going to continue monitoring the site, learning how the Wood thrush and other animals are using the area and keeping it healthy by removing invasive species.