A study of avian use of various habitats was conducted in the Sheyenne Lake region of central North Dakota during April-June 1980. Population counts of birds were made in wetlands of various classes, prairie thickets, upland native prairie, shelterbelts, and cropland. About 22,000 breeding bird pairs including 92 species that nested occupied the area. Population means for most species were equal to or greater than statewide means. Red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), yellow-headed blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus), mourning dove (Zenaida macroura), and blue-winged teal (Anas discors) were the most numerous species, and made up 32.9% of the total population . Highest densities of breeding birds occurred in shelterbelts, semipermanent wetlands, and prairie thickets. Lowest densities occurred in upland native prairie and cropland. The study area was used by 49.6% of the total avifauna of the State, and 51% of the breeding avifauna of North Dakota probably nested in the study area. The diversity of birds using the area was unusual in that such a large number of species occupied a relatively small area. The close interspersion of many native habitats, several of which are unique in North Dakota, probably accounted for this diversity. Data on dates of occurrence, nesting records, and habitat use are presented for the 175 species recorded in 1980. Observations of significance by refuge staff are also provided.
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Federal Government Series
Avian use of Sheyenne Lake and associated habitats in central North Dakota