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Re: AT-L digest 49

On Mon, 18 Mar 1996 10:37:10 -0500 BruceBaird@aol.com wrote: 

On my three long-distant hikes on the AT covering
>from Springer to Hot Springs and the Maine Wilderness I have noticed  that
>either the AT's bird population density is much less than my local
>neighborhood or the birds don't sing.  Does anyone know the reason for this?

I've "birded" all around North Georgia, and sometimes it can seem that there
are more birds back home than on the trail.  While some or none of these may
be right, here's my SWAG on it.  The long cross-country temperate zone
trails are usually fairly uniform in terms of the amount and variety of
vegetation along their length. Different birds like different combinations
of vegetation. Fewer birds in smaller species combinations are seen because
the area around the trail because its vegetation appeals to a smaller
variety of birds. Backyards are usually a patchwork of vegetation varieties
and densities that appeal to a comparably larger variety of birds.
Especially dense forest also attract mostly smaller, inconspicuous birds.
Most backpackers aren't really making their best observations until later in
the morning and before they tire in the afternoon early evening. Better
birding times range seasonally from 6 a.m.-8:30 a.m. Moreover, I can't
really concentrate on birds when I'm backpacking.  I can either bird or I
can backpack, but I can't do both.  By mid-day, it's hot, I'm
thirsty/hungry, or I'm just catching the most obvious natural attractions
while trying to make some mileage.  I can't do the methodical search while
alternately starting and stopping as I do when I bird. At home, less
preoccupies you, so you notice more birds in an area where there