Jerry W. Hupp

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

First Advisor

John T. Ratti

Second Advisor

Charles G. Scalet


Gray partridge (Perdix perdix) nesting biology, summer and fall habitat utilization, home range, and food habits were studied in Brookings County, South Dakota, during 1978-79. Data were collected on a 62 km² study area 16 km northeast of Brookings. Nesting habitats, success, and clutch size were determined from 44 randomly located nests. Most nests (91%) were in grassy roadsides and fencerows. Few birds nested in cover dominated by legume vegetation. Average clutch size of completed nests was 17.8 eggs and nest success was 37%. Mammalian predation was the major cause (50%) of nesting failure. Gray partridge habitat utilization was determined usein gradio telemetry, weekly roadside surveys, and incidental observations. Twelve partridge were radio-tagged in 1979. Radio-tagged partridge primarily used small grain gields during brood rearing (22 June – 21 August). Small grain may have offered more adequate cover than other agricultural crops. During the late summer and early fall (22 August – 21 October) partridge shifted to standing row crops after harvest reduced available cover in small grains. Use of row crops declines slightly in late fall (22 October – 21 December) as radio-tagged partridge increasingly utilized pastures. Pastures may be a favored late fall habitat because they are blown free of snow and food is probably more available there than in other cover type. Fall home range of 4 radio-tagged partridge varied form 0.16-3.1 km². Crop contents from 72 and 61 birds collected in 1978-79, respectively, were examined. Insects were the predominant food during brood rearing. Consumption of cultivated grains and wild seeds increased in late summer and fall.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Birds – South Dakota
Birds, Protection of – South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references (pages 64-69)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only