Landscape effects on woodland birds

We wish to find out how woodland birds are affected by the landscape surrounding their woodland habitat.

Wood warbler


Some of our rapidly declining woodland birds are sedentary and have limited dispersal ranges. For these species, it has been suggested that changes in the landscape outside of woods may have reduced their ability to access resources outside of their home wood or for young to disperse to new areas.

Some of our resident woodland birds are also associated with wet features including wet woodland and woodland next to rivers and lakes. It has been suggested that pressures such as land drainage and changes in weather patterns may have dried out woods in some areas.

This project aims to look at how population changes of some of our most rapidly declining resident woodland birds are related to patterns landscape composition and weather and changes in these, to inform our understanding of possible causes of declines in woodland birds.


  • Do measures of landscape structure and composition relating to birds ability to disperse across landscapes affect woodland bird abundance?
  • Has change in landscape affected changes in woodland bird abundance?
  • Have changing climatic factors, likely to lead to drying out of woods, lead to changes in abundance of woodland birds?

Key Dates

  • March 2017 - all data extracted for analysis.


All data relating to bird distribution and abundance, landscape composition and change and climate patterns and change have been extracted for analysis.

Planned Work

It is planned to analyse changes in abundance of sedentary woodland birds in relation to landscape and climate patterns and changes in landscape and climate a two landscape scales.


Coast on a stormy day

Paul Bellamy

Senior Conservation Scientist, Conservation Science
Tagged with: Country: England Country: Northern Ireland Country: Scotland Country: Wales Habitat: Woodland Species: Hawfinch Species: Lesser spotted woodpecker Species: Marsh tit Species: Willow tit Project status: Ongoing Project types: Research