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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Effects of mowing on breeding bird abundance and species composition in alfalfa fields
Year: 1991
Author(s): Frawley, B.J., Best, L.B.
Source Title: Wildlife Society Bulletin
Source Type: Journal
pages: 135-143
Original Publication: http://  
Abstract: Our study was undertaken to: (1) determine the species composition and abundance of nongame birds breeding in alfalfa fields and (2) evaluate the effects of hay mowing on vegetation and the density of breeding nongame birds. Our results pertain to the first and second alfalfa crops and to the effects of the first mowing. The suitability of alfalfa fields for breeding birds is influenced primarily by the occurrence of mowing and its effect on vegetation structure. Although the negative effects of mowing on most birds are easily recognized (i.e., fewer species and lower overall bird abundance), a solution to the problem is far more difficult, if not impossible, to achieve on most privately managed land.