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Birds as Indicators of Riparian Vegetation Condition in the Western U.S.

Riparian Obligate Species


These are species that place >90% of their nests in riparian vegetation or for which >90% of their abundance occurs in riparian vegetation during the breeding season. They may forage outside riparian vegetation. Without riparian vegetation in good ecological condition, these species will not occur in a given area. Some species may be classified as obligates in one geographic area but not another.

Obligate Species1
Conservation Action Required in Geographic Region3
Vegetation Layer(s) Used4
Coastal
Northern Rockies
Great Basin
Arid S. West
Co. Plat./S. Rockies
Prairies
Understory
Midstory
Canopy
Abert's Towhee
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
American Dipper
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
American Redstart
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bald Eagle
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bell's Vireo
 
 
 
 
Belted Kingfisher
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Black Swift
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Broad-billed Hummingbird
 
 
 
 
 
 
Brown-crested Flycatcher
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Common Blackhawk
 
 
 
 
 
Common Yellowthroat
 
 
 
 
 
 
Elegant Trogon
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gila Woodpecker
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gray Hawk
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Green Kingfisher
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lincoln's Sparrow
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lucy's Warbler
 
 
 
 
 
Northern Beardless-tyrannulet
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Orange-crowned Warbler
 
 
 
 
 
 
Orchard Oriole
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Painted Bunting
 
 
 
 
 
Rose-throated Becard
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Song Sparrow
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Streak-backed Oriole
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Summer Tanager
 
 
 
 
 
Thick-billed Kingbird
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tropical Kingbird
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Varied Bunting
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Veery
 
 
 
 
 
Vermillion Flycatcher
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Violet-crowned Hummingbird
 
 
 
 
 
 
Willow Flycatcher
 
Wilson's Warbler
 
 
 
Yellow Warbler
 
 
 
 
 
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
 
 
Yellow-breasted Chat
 
 
 

1Species is considered to be Obligate (see definitions) in at least one geographic region (see map).
3The Western Working Group of Partners in Flight determined that conservation action is needed now for the species in the geographic region(s) indicated.
4The vegetation layer(s) used most by the species. The species is most useful as an indicator of the ecological condition of the layer(s) used.
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