Interactive Habitat: Winter Spruce Forest

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Summer Hill Spruce Forest #1

Spruce trees are found in the northern latitudes around the world.  My experience is that these forests are dark and dense with very little understory.  A few ferns and other ground cover can be found scattered across the ground around the massive trunks, but the dense crowns of these large spruce trees block out the sun, preventing saplings and other trees from growing.

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Summer Hill Spruce Forest #2

This particular series was taken in a local state forest where the trees had obviously been planted years ago.  The perfect lines of trees gave the forest a plantation feel, but the trees had grown quite large and if it wasn’t for the perfect lines, I wouldn’t have known that they were planted.  I don’t know if these trees were planted for the timber industry or to create habitat, but they appear to have created a great parcel of habitat for many species.

This habitat is great for some of the northern finches that venture south in the winter to find good cone crops.  Ruffed Grouse also make their home here in the spruce forest.  When spring arrives, Dark-eyed Juncos and possibly Mourning Warblers will be found nesting in this dense and dark forest.  I look forward to returning later this winter in search of finches as well as in the spring to photograph the breeding songbirds.

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  1. Very cool 360 views!

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