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How do cloud forest birds use agricultural areas surrounding remnant forest fragments? We found out for one species: Smoky-brown Woodpecker (Picoides fumigatus). After capturing one individual within the fragment at San Lorenzo we attached a radio transmitter and spent the next two days following its movements across the surrounding pastured landscape. Using isolated pasture trees and tiny woodlots as stepping stones the bird moved to a second fragment some 800m away before returning to near the original capture fragment. These data show that certain species of Andean birds actively use the agricultural matrix as part of their home ranges and demonstrate the importance of conserving habitat features within pastures, such as trees. The photo below shows the bird’s movements across the landscape. Just follow the arrows!

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Radio-tracking the Smoky-brown Woodpecker
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The Smoky-brown Woodpecker bounced across isolated pasture trees to a second fragment.
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Smoky-brown Woodpecker