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Nest Success and Nest Site Selection of Shorebirds in North Dakota

by Wiens, Darren Kirk

Abstract (Summary)
I compared nest success estimates for both shorebirds and Sharp-tailed Grouse between controls and 36 square-mile blocks that were trapped for intermediate mammalian predators. I also investigated shorebird nest site selection by comparing vegetation visual obstruction and species composition between nest sites and the surrounding field. Nest success (Mayfield estimate ± SE) was not different between trapped and control blocks for shorebirds (trap: 50.8% ± 6.3%; control: 69.1% ± 17.5%) or Sharp-tailed Grouse (trap: 61.3% ± 8.3%; control: 48.7% ± 10.0%). This indicates that trapping intermediate mammalian predators is not an efficient method of increasing shorebird or Sharp-tailed Grouse nest success. Regardless of the surrounding habitat type, shorebird nest sites were located in characteristic vegetation depending on species. Common Snipe preferred nest sites to be covered by native vegetation that obstructed vision below 21cm. Wilsons Phalarope also preferred native vegetation, however they nested in vegetation obstructing vision less than 16cm. Upland Sandpipers showed little preference for vegetation species composition, although nest sites were typically found in vegetation obstructing vision less than 21cm. These results indicate that useful shorebird habitat includes relatively sparse, native vegetation.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Chamberlain, Michael J.; Geaghan, James P.; Rohwer, Frank C.

School:Louisiana State University in Shreveport

School Location:USA - Louisiana

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:renewable natural resources

ISBN:

Date of Publication:04/13/2007

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