• birds;
  • Cascade Range;
  • diversity;
  • forest;
  • habitat;
  • indicator species;
  • Pinus ponderosa;
  • Pseudotsuga menziesii;
  • riparian;
  • Washington

ABSTRACT  We quantified breeding bird abundance, diversity, and indicator species in riparian and upland dry forests along 6 third- to fourth-order streams on the east slope of the Cascade Range, Washington, USA. Upland dry forest on southerly aspects was dominated by open ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) and dry Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) plant associations. Upland mesic forest on northerly aspects was dominated by closed-canopy Douglas-fir or dry grand fir (Abies grandis) plant associations. Riparian overstory vegetation was dominated by black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) plant associations with a prominent hardwood tree and shrub component. We quantified bird assemblages, diversity, and abundance from parallel point transects on riparian and adjacent dry and mesic upslope forests. We detected 80 bird species from >12,000 point-transect observations during 1998–1999. Eighteen species accounted for 75% of all detections. Species richness and evenness were similar in all 3 forest types, with approximately 35 species and high evenness (0.85) in each forest type. Bird species assemblages differed among dry, mesic, and riparian forest types, with the greatest differences between riparian and both dry and mesic upland forests. Riparian forest had the greatest number (9) of strong characteristic, or indictor, species among the 3 forest types. Upland mesic forest was characterized by 7 indicator species. Upland dry forest had 4 indicator species. Our results indicate that current standards and guidelines for riparian buffers zones would allow for avian refuge and corridor functions along these streams. Forest managers could use our indicator species to predict and monitor shifts in upland forest species composition from thinning and prescribed burning practices that are used to reduce fuels in uplands and to reduce continuity of fire effects between riparian and upland zones.