1 April 2001 Bird Use of Terraces in Iowa Rowcrop Fields
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Bird use of terraces in rowcrop fields was evaluated during 1996–1997 in southwestern Iowa by line transect counts of birds, nest searches and nest monitoring. Twenty-six bird species were observed in terraces. Red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) and dickcissels (Spiza americana) were most abundant, accounting for 58% of the total bird abundance. Bird abundance in terraces (x̄ = 463.0 birds/100 ha, se = 33.0) was less than that in other strip-cover habitats such as grassed waterways and roadsides, but greater than that in rowcrops. Five species nested in terraces. We found 64.8 nests/10 ha of which 76% were red-winged blackbird nests. Predation resulted in failure of 73% of all nests. The relative contribution of terraces to grassland bird conservation is minor, and changes in current terrace management practices would not likely improve conditions for birds nor be economical.

HULTQUIST JENNIFER M and Louis B. Best " Bird Use of Terraces in Iowa Rowcrop Fields," The American Midland Naturalist 145(2), 275-287, (1 April 2001). https://doi.org/10.1674/0003-0031(2001)145[0275:BUOTII]2.0.CO;2
Received: 3 May 1999; Accepted: 1 December 2000; Published: 1 April 2001
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