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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Native prairie grass pastures as nest cover for upland birds
Year: 1979
Author(s): George, R. R., Farris, A. L., Schwartz, C. C., Humburg, D. D., Coffey, J. C.
Source Title: Wildlife Society Bulletin
Source Type: Journal
Original Publication: http://  
Abstract: Pastures seeded to pure stands of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans), and big bluestem (Andropogon gerardi) and properly managed as warm season livestock forage provided suitable nest cover for ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) and other species of upland birds. Under good management, switchgrass plots produced 3.1 successful pheasant nests/10 ha. Privately owned switchgrass pastures produced 0.7 successful pheasant nests/10 ha even when grazed early due to drought. In contrast, privately owned alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and orchard grass (Dactylis glomerata) hay meadows (typical of existing nest cover in Iowa) produced no successful pheasant nests in 1976 due to early season hay cutting. Bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus), mourning doves (Zenaida macroura), and several species of passerine birds also nested in native grasses.
Publisher: 4-9