Land-use change is a main driver of habitat loss and a force that can utterly alter landscapes. During the last 100 years the agricultural landscape of Northern Europe has been transformed by intensification of forestry, extensively effecting biodiversity. In this study we utilize historical maps to investigate the effect of 100 years of land use change on the availability of potential territories for the two most common bird species in Sweden, the willow warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus) and the chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs). In addition, we used the species’ habitat preferences to construct a future scenario and estimated how increased fibre and timber demands and climate change could shape territory availability further. The results suggest that the decrease in forest grazing and landscape heterogeneity that has occurred between 1900-2013 have negatively affected the willow warbler, whereas the chaffinch has benefitted by the increase in forest cover but lost living space because of the decrease in heterogeneity. In the future scenario, the climate-induced augmented turn-over rate of forest harvesting cause an increase in early succession forest, creating habitat for both species. However, this future entails an even greater loss of heterogeneity and if this negative effect is to be hindered, the most preferred habitats by the two species must be promoted. These most preferred habitats are also associated with high biodiversity. Thus, conservation of preferred habitats will promote both the two common study species and also generate benefits for biodiversity, exemplifying how common, more easily-monitored species can be utilized in conservation. Additionally, by considering past land use changes and current population status, the response by the two species to alterations in the landscape is better understood and future resilience to land use change easier anticipated.