Land Bird Conservation Plan Colorado  

Executive Summary
Overview of Colorado
Physiographic Region 36
Physiographic Region 62

  • Alpine Tundra
  • Aspen
  • Cliff/Rock
  • High Elevation Riparian
  • Lowland Riparian
  • Mixed Conifer
  • Mountain Shrubland
  • Ponderosa Pine
  • Sagebrush Shrubland
  • Spruce-Fir
  • Wetlands

  • Physiographic Region 87
    Implementation Strategies
    Literature Cited

    Physiographic Region 62: Southern Rocky Mountains

    Mixed Conifer

    Description and Ecology: This forest type is found at elevations of 1700 to 3050 m (5,600-10,000 ft), where it is transitional between ponderosa pine and spruce-fir forests. At lower elevations, ponderosa pines are common, with Douglas-fir on north-facing slopes and in drainages. Mixed conifer gives way to spruce-fir at higher elevations. Aspen stands are an important component, and so pervasive as to be considered an integral part of the mixed conifer forest. Other tree species present include blue spruce, white fir, lodgepole pine, limber pine, and bristlecone pine. The stand- and landscape-level structure of mixed conifer forests is shaped by fire, blowdown, and insect infestations (western spruce budworm, Douglas-fir bark beetle, and Douglas-fir tussock moth).

    Importance and Conservation Status: No bird species is restricted to this forest type. Species commonly found in mixed conifer include the Yellow-rumped Warbler, Western Tanager, Dark-eyed Junco, and Evening Grosbeak. Insect outbreaks are a regular feature of this forest type, and can provide a superabundant food source for insectivorous birds. In southwestern Colorado, the legacy of decades of forest fire suppression includes invasion by fire-intolerant white fir, which often forms stands with high densities of small trees.

    Priority Species Accounts: Two species are identified as high priority in mixed-conifer habitats in Physiographic Area 62: Blue Grouse and Williamson's Sapsucker.

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