Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Nestling provisioning of dickcissels in native warm-season grass field buffers
by Baker, Kristina Lynne, M.S., Mississippi State University, 2011, 59; 1491033
Abstract (Summary)

Grassland birds must have accessible, nutritional prey for nestlings which Conservation Reserve Program practices like CP33—Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds may provide. In 2008–2009, I monitored dickcissel nests in and around CP33 buffers at a farm in north-central Mississippi using video cameras to capture provisioning activities. I simultaneously observed foraging flights and measured distances traveled from nests. Orthopterans were the most commonly chosen prey, and dickcissels brought larger prey items when chicks were older. But, other changes in provisioning were not significantly related to nest age as I hypothesized. Also contrary to my initial hypotheses, provisioning at nests within buffers did not differ from non-buffer nests. CRP grasslands were equivalent to other available habitats. Provisioning rate and biomass decreased when an observer was present, and male feeding increased provisioning rate. Incorporating native warm-season grasses through conservation programs can increase nesting and foraging resources for dickcissels.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Riffell, Samuel K.
Commitee: Burger, Loren W., Vilella, Francisco J.
School: Mississippi State University
Department: Wildlife and Fisheries
School Location: United States -- Mississippi
Source: MAI 49/05M, Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Wildlife Conservation, Ecology
Keywords: Biomass, Conservation reserve program, Dickcissel, Foraging distances, Provisioning rate, Spiza americana
Publication Number: 1491033
ISBN: 9781124587912
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