Off-campus South Dakota State University users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your South Dakota State University ID and password.

Non-South Dakota State University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Wildlife and Fisheries Science


Seeded nesting cover reaches peak growth 3-5 years after planting and characteristics, primarily height and density, attractive to many upland nesting birds deteriorate after the year of peak growth. I studied the effects of 3 rejuvenation treatments (haying, haying and scarifying, haying and fertilizing) on 2 types of seeded nesting cover (tame grasses and dense nesting cover), and the response by some upland nesting bird species to treated seeded nesting cover in eastern South Dakota. Height-density of seeded nesting cover was generally not enhance by the treatments, but mulch height was reduced by treatments. Drought conditions during 1988 may have suppressed any positive response by seeded nesting cover to treatments. Plant species of the original seed mixtures were not enhance by the treatments, and undesirable plant species, especially wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), expanded in scarified seeded nesting cover. Three hundred and three duck nests and 7 nests of 5 other avian species were found during the study. Hatch rates of duck nests were not significantly different among controls and treatments during each year. Densities (nests/40.5 ha) of duck nests in tame grasses were significantly (p-0.0118) higher in the Control (25) than the Hayed-Scarified (9) during 1987, and were significantly (p=0.0025) higher in the Hayed-Fertilized (53) than the Control (24) in 1988. Densities of duck nests in dense nesting cover during 1988 were significantly (p=0.0366) higher in the Hayed (103) than the Control (50). Density (nests/40.5 ha) of hatched nests in tame grass cover and in dense nesting cover over the 2 years of the study averaged highest in Hayed tame grass cover (14) and Hayed dense nesting cover (31). Haying of seeded nesting cover enhanced blue-winged teal production in tame grass cover and dense nesting cover. Other duck species nested at lower densities in treated cover than in Controls during the first nesting season (1987) after treatment but differences were generally not apparent in 1988. Fertilizing or scarifying after haying of seeded nesting cover produced fewer hatched nests per ha of treatment and at a higher cost than in seeded nesting cover that was only hayed. Periodic haying of seeded nesting cover is recommended as a management tool to enhance nesting cover quality, especially for blue-winged teal.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Upland game birds -- Effect of habitat modificaiton on
Upland game bird management -- South Dakota
Madison Wetland Management District (S.D.)
Waubay Wetland Management District (S.D.)


Includes bibliographical references (pages 88-96)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


In Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted