Wooded lands cover about one third of the area of Missouri, and are one of the state’s most valuable resources. These 15.5 million acres of forest and woodland provide jobs, recreational opportunities, help to clean the air and water, and provide crucial habitats for birds and other wildlife. The wooded lands of Missouri can be divided into two main types: forest and woodland.
Woodlands have a much more open canopy and a much sparser midstory, allowing more sunlight to reach the ground, resulting in a dense understory of forbs, grasses, and sedges. Fire plays a large role in the restoration and maintenance of woodland habitat systems. The three types of woodland include: glaciated, Ozark oak-pine, and Ozark hardwood.
Woodlands share many bird species with forests and, like forests, the particular type of woodland you are exploring will ultimately determine which birds you might find. Woodlands attract raptors, woodpeckers, vireos, nuthatches, cuckoos, wrens, and wood warblers. Associated species include: Cooper’s Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk, Chuck-will’s-widow, Whip-poor-will, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Eastern Wood-pewee, White-eyed Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, White-breasted Nuthatch, Bewick’s Wren, Gray Catbird, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Pine Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, and Summer Tanager.