Skip to Main Content

The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Microhabitat selection by nesting and brood-rearing northern bobwhite in Kansas
Year: 1999
Author(s): Taylor, J. S., Church, K. E., Rusch, D. H.
Source Title: Journal of Wildlife Management
Source Type: Journal
pages: 686-694
Original Publication: http://  
Abstract: Productivity may be the most important factor associated with changes in northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) population size, so habitat influences on reproductive success and behavior must be well understood. To examine these influences, we measured microhabitat (ground cover, height, visual obstruction of vegetation) selection by nesting and brood-rearing bobwhite in Kansas during 1991-94, and discerned which habitat components were associated with clutch success. Nest sites had taller vegetation, greater visual obstruction, and more litter cover than random sites within habitat patches in which nests were located. Habitat patches that contained successful nests had less relative shrub cover and taller vegetation than those that contained depredated nests. Successful nest sites also had less relative litter cover than depredated nest sites. Brood-rearing adults selected sites with more bare ground, taller vegetation, and greater visual obstruction during the day. Broods night-roosted at sites with more litter and taller vegetation than at diurnal sites. Nesting and brood-rearing bobwhite select microhabitats that vary widely in vegetative ground cover, height, and structure; thus, managers should provide this variability when manipulating vegetation.