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Breeding Birds of North Dakota

Ecological Associations of Breeding Birds

Local variations in the biota of North Dakota are closely correlated with local differences in the environment. Such variations are reflected by the occurrence of distinct associations of plants and animals. These associations dominate tracts of land as segregated, monotypic communities or occur as interspersed combinations and thus form community complexes. Generalized categories of biotic communities within the state include agricultural, prairie, wetland, and forest communities; the badlands community complex; and towns and cities.

General descriptions of these communities and listings of the characteristic breeding birds are included in the treatment that follows. The characteristic birds in these lists are segregated as primary intraneous species, as secondary intraneous species, and as extraneous species. Intraneous species of a given community are those that appear to be capable of satisfying all or most of their essential breeding habitat requirements within the community in question. Primary intraneous species refer to species in this category that are often common or abundant, while secondary intraneous species are those of lesser numerical status. Extraneous species are those that often occur in the community in question but appear to require other communities also in order to satisfy most of their breeding habitat requirements.

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