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Managing Habitat for Grassland Birds
A Guide for Wisconsin



Table 1.  The species composition of Wisconsin's grassland bird communities. a ,b
  GIF-Cattle egret GIF-Am. green-winged teal GIF-Mallard GIF-Northern pintail GIF-Blue-winged teal GIF-Northern Shoveler GIF-Gadwall GIF-American wigeon GIF-Northern harrier GIF-Red-tailed hawk GIF-American kestrel GIF-Gray partridge GIF-Ring-nicked pheasant GIF-Greater prairie-chicken GIF-Sharp-tailed grouse GIF-Northern bobwhite GIF-Yellow rail GIF-Killdeer GIF-Upland sandpiper

Habitat Types c
Row crops     F           f     F F f f F   S f
Small grains                 F F F O O f f F   O  
Fallow fields     O           o F F O O f f O   O o
Alfalfa or legume hay f o O   O   o o o F F O O f f O   O o
Grass or grass/legume hay f o O   O   o o O F F O O o f O   O o
Pastures d f o O o O   o o O W W O L l   O   H S

Idle cool season/grass/forb-short f o O o O o o o F W W o   o o O   O o
Idle cool season/grass/forb-med. f o O o O o o o O W W O O o o O     o
Idle cool season/grass/forb-tall   o O   o o o o O W W O O o   o      
Idle warm season/grass/forb-med. f o O   O o o o O W W O O o o O     o
Idle warm season/grass/forb-tall     O       o   O W W   O o   O      

Dry old field f o o o O o o o O W W O O o o O     o
Upland shrub   o O         o o W W O O   o O     o
Wet old field f o O   O o o o O W W   O o o O   O o
Shrubby wet old field o o O   O   o o O W W O O   o O   o  

Dry or sand prairie                    W W     o o o      
Dry-mesic prairie e f o O o O o o o O W W o O o   O     o
Wet-mesic or wet prairie f o O o O o o o O W W   O o         o
Oak savanna   o O o o o o o O O O O O o w O     o

Southern sedge meadow f o O o O o o o O W W   O       o   o
Northern sedge meadow   o O o O o o o O W W       o   s   o
Southern sedge marsh   o D o O o o o O                 O  
Northern sedge marsh   o D o D o o o O               o O  

Shrub swamp o o O   O   o   O W     O   o o   O  
Open bog   o O         o O           o        
Mossed bog   o             O                    

Open barrens                 O O O       o     O S
Diverse barrens     o           S O O       o     O S
Brush prairie barrens     o           O           s     O O
Oak or river barrens                   O O         o   O  
Conifer barrens                   O O         o   O  

Cut- or burned-over                   W W       o       o
Young conifer plantation                 o F F         o      
Orchard                               o      
Park or golf course f   O             O O         o   O  


Table 1.  Continued.
  GIF-Wilson's phalarope GIF-Mourning dove GIF-Barn owl GIF-Short-eared owl GIF-Common nighthawk GIF-Red-headed woodpecker GIF-Alder flycatcher GIF-Willow flycatcher GIF-Eastern kingbird GIF-Horned lark GIF-Barn swallow GIF-Sedge wren GIF-Eastern bluebird GIF-Loggerhead shrike GIF-Bell's vireo GIF-Common yellowthroat GIF-Dickcissel GIF-Clay-colored sparrow GIF-Field sparrow

Habitat Types c
Row crops   O             F S F                
Small grains   F f f         F D F o       o      
Fallow fields   O f f   F     F D F     f   O O O  
Alfalfa or legume hay   O f f         F O F o   f   o O o  
Grass or grass/legume hay   O f o         F O F O   f   O O o  
Pastures d   O f l o W   W W H F l W w w W L W W

Idle cool season/grass/forb-short   W f f   W   W W O F   W w w W   W W
Idle cool season/grass/forb-med. o W f o   W w W W   F O W w w O O W W
Idle cool season/grass/forb-tall o   f o   W w W W   F D     w D o W w
Idle warm season/grass/forb-med.   W f o   W   W W   F O W w w W O w W
Idle warm season/grass/forb-tall     f o   W   W W   F D     w D O w W

Dry old field   O f o   W   W W o F o W w w W O W W
Upland shrub   O f o   W o O O   F o O o o D o D D
Wet old field o   f o   W W W W   F O W   w O O W w
Shrubby wet old field   O f o   W O O O   F O O   o D o D o

Dry or sand prairie   O f f o W   W W O F   W w w o   O D
Dry-mesic prairie e   W f o   W   W W   F   W w w O O o O
Wet-mesic or wet prairie o   f o   W w W W   F D     w D O o  
Oak savanna   O o o   O   w O   F o O w w O O w W

Southern sedge meadow o   f o       W W   F D     w D      
Northern sedge meadow s     o     W w W   F D       O   w  
Southern sedge marsh s             W W   F O       O      
Northern sedge marsh s           W w W   F D       O      

Shrub swamp   O f o     S D O   F O o   o D   O o
Open bog       o     W   W   F D       D   O  
Mossed bog       f             F D       O      

Open barrens   o   o O       O   F o O     O   D D
Diverse barrens   O   o O O     D   F   O     D   D D
Brush prairie barrens   O   o     O   O   F o O     D   D D
Oak or river barrens   D     o O     O   F   O   o O o O D
Conifer barrens   O     O O     O   F   O     O   O D

Cut- or burned-over   O     O   O   O O F   O     D   D D
Young conifer plantation   O f f         O O F   O     O   D D
Orchard   D       O     O   F   O o   O     D
Park or golf course   O       O     O   F   O     O   o O


Table 1.  Continued.
  GIF-Vesper sparrow GIF-Lark sparrow GIF-Savannah sparrow GIF-Grasshopper sparrow GIF-Henslow's sparrow GIF-Le Conte's sparrow GIF-Nelson's sharp-tailed sparrow GIF-Song sparrow GIF-Swamp sparrow GIF-Bobolink GIF-Red-winged blackbird GIF-Eastern meadowlark GIF-Western meadowlark GIF-Brewer's blackbird GIF-Common grackle GIF-Brown-headed cowbird GIF-Orchard oriole GIF-American Goldfinch

Habitat Types c
Row crops D o F F       F     F f f F F o   f
Small grains O   O F o     F   O D O o   F o   f
Fallow fields D o D D o     O   O D O o O F o   D
Alfalfa or legume hay o   D O o     o   D D O O O f o   f
Grass or grass/legume hay o   D O o o   o o D D O O O f o   f
Pastures d     D D l     W L D L D D O w O w O

Idle cool season/grass/forb-short O o D D       W   O O D O O W O w O
Idle cool season/grass/forb-med. o   D O o o   O o D D D O O W O w O
Idle cool season/grass/forb-tall     O   o o   D D O D O   o W O w O
Idle warm season/grass/forb-med. O   D D o     O   D D D O O W O w O
Idle warm season/grass/forb-tall o   o O s     O D O D O     W O w O

Dry old field O o D D o     W   D D D O O W O w O
Upland shrub O o O O o     D   o D D o o O D o D
Wet old field     D   o     W O D D O   O O O w D
Shrubby wet old field     O   o     D O O D O     O O   D

Dry or sand prairie D s O S       D   o o D O O   O w O
Dry-mesic prairie e O   D O o     O   D O D O w W O w O
Wet-mesic or wet prairie     O o o     D D D D O o w W D w D
Oak savanna o   O O o     W   O D D o w W D s O

Southern sedge meadow     O   o     w D O D O     w o   W
Northern sedge meadow     D     s s w D D D o   O w o   w
Southern sedge marsh     o     o   w D o D       w     w
Northern sedge marsh     o     o s w O o D o           w

Shrub swamp     o         D D o D       O O   D
Open bog     D   o     D O O D     D   o   o
Mossed bog     D   D s   O   O O              

Open barrens D o   D       O   o O o O D   O   D
Diverse barrens D   o o       D     O   O D o O   D
Brush prairie barrens D     o       O o O O     O o O   D
Oak or river barrens D s   O       D     O O o o O D s D
Conifer barrens D o o o       O     o       o D   D

Cut- or burned-over D             D o         O o D   D
Young conifer plantation D o o O       D     O O o O O O   D
Orchard o   o         D     D O     D O o D
Park or golf course               O     O       D O o D


a  Species are shown in taxonomic order. Includes 40 species that require grasslands and 16 other species that commonly occur in grasslands (see text). See Appendix E for non-grassland bird species typically associated with these communities. Bolded names are species of management concern, which are the focus of this report; discussion of our selection of these species is in "Identifying Bird Species of Management Concern and Priority Habitats for Wisconsin".

b  D = dominant breeding species;  S = specialist (species with relatively limited distributions that occur more commonly in this habitat than in most others);  O = occurs as a breeding species;  F = forages, but does not typically breed;  W = woody vegetation of appropriate type is required for nesting (otherwise forages only);  L = occurs with very light grazing (often lowland sites with tall vegetation);  H = occurs with heavy grazing.  NOTE: in all cases, bolded uppercase letters indicate species that are relatively common, while lowercase letters indicate species that are typically uncommon to rare (but see regional distributional differences in Table 2).

c  See Appendix E for habitat type descriptions. Bird communities are composed of all species associated with a habitat type.
d  Lightly to moderately grazed pastures (unless L or H specified; L=very light grazing, H=heavy grazing).
e  True mesic prairies are too rare and small to receive significant use from grassland birds and are thus excluded from the list of habitats.


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