Center for Urban Waters building cutaway: tree snags

LEED credit symbol: sustainable sitesTree snags are for the birds: feed, perch, nest

Sustainably harvested cedar and Douglas fir snags (dead trees) provide staging, feeding and nesting habitat for birds and small animals. Snags also:

  • Attract insects and mosses that become food for many species.
  • Provide cavities for birds and small animals to nest.
  • Serve as a resting place for birds near a busy industrial waterfront.
  • Act as vertical sculptural elements and provide bird-watching opportunities.

The Douglas fir snags were removed from a site being developed for housing. The cedar snags had been identified as danger trees — meaning they could potentially strike occupied buildings in a storm — at an already developed site.

tree snags used by predators
Snags provide some protection from attack and a good view for hunting prey along the waterfront.
tree snags host insects
Wood-boring beetles, termites and other insects provide a feast for bats and birds, such as for this Belted Kingfisher.
great blue heron
Great Blue Herons can be seen diving into the water, sometimes with outstretched wings.
double-crested cormorant
Double-crested Cormorants can be seen resting on pilings and snags.
Birds perched on a tree snag
Birds perched on a tree snag