The prairie warbler (Dendroica discolor) ranges from common in the southern part of BCR 14 to uncommon further north. It prefers dry thickets, shrubby second growth, Christmas tree plantations, abandoned gravel pits and dry abandoned fields. Its population is declining as abandoned openings revert to forest. It is listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in one or more states in BCR 14.
This bird is abundant in the pitch pine-scrub oak community, especially when periodic burns have taken place. It also uses shrubby second-growth areas, dry abandoned fields, brushy gravel pits, utility corridors and Christmas tree plantations. A coniferous component, usually pine, is necessary. Singing and surveillance perches are also important.
Its territory size is about 4 acres.
Maintain shrubby areas, particularly in scrub oak-pitch pine, with a light interspersion of larger trees on dry soils.
When assessing properties for habitat potential, look for dry soils such as Hoosic, Machias, Masardis, Quonset, Sheepscot, Stetson and Warwick among others.
- Conduct periodic prescribed fire where possible, especially in pitch pine-scrub oak.
- Maintain shrubby conditions by brush-hogging periodically.
- The third cut of a three-cut shelterwood system will produce the appropriate habitat conditions on dry soils with a white pine component.
- Use clearcuts that are 5 or more acres with entries scheduled so at least 25 percent of the total area in this habitat type remains in the sapling and pole stage.