Notable Features: High ecological value; tolerates wide range of soils
Attracts: Like other oaks, the value of Bur Oak to wildlife is quite high. The leaves are eaten by the caterpillars of several butterflies, specifically Calycopis cecrops (Red-Banded Hairstreak), Fixsenia favonius ontario (Northern Hairstreak), Parrhasius m-album (White-M Hairstreak), Satyrium calanus falacer (Banded Hairstreak), and Satyrium liparops strigosum (Striped Hairstreak); the caterpillars of the skippers Erynnis brizo (Sleepy Duskywing) and Erynnis juvenalis (Juvenal's Duskywing) also feed on the leaves. In addition, the caterpillars of probably several hundred moths feed on the foliage and other parts of oaks. Another major group of insect feeders consists of Long-Horned beetles (Cerambycidae) and closely related beetles, whose larvae bore through the wood or bark of oaks. Bur Oak and other oaks are among the major hosts of treehoppers (Membracidae). Other insect feeders include plant bugs (Miridae), leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae), the Oak Lace Bug (Corythucha arcuata), the Northern Walkingstick (Diapheromera femoratum), the larvae of weevils (Curculionidae), and insects from other families. Many of these insects are eaten by insectivorous songbirds. The acorns of oaks are an important food source of several birds; these species include the Wood Duck, Mallard, Wild Turkey, Blue Jay, White-Breasted Nuthatch, Tufted Titmouse, Pileated Woodpecker, Red-Bellied Woodpecker, Red-Headed Woodpecker, and others. Oak trees provide nesting habitat for such birds as the Northern Parula, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Yellow-Throated Vireo, Summer Tanager, and Red-Tailed Hawk; the cavities of older trees provide dens for tree squirrels and Screech Owls.
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