Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Wildlife and Fisheries Science


Gray partridge (Perdix perdix) habitat utilization, home range, and food habits were studied in Brookings County, South Dakota during winter and spring of 1979 and 1980. Habitat utilization and food habits data were analyzed in 2-month periods; winter (December 22-February 21), early spring (February 22-April 21), and late spring (April 22-June 21). Habitat utilization was determined through radio telemetry, roadside surveys, and incidental observations. Chi-square analysis was used to determine habitat selection of partridge. Home range was determined to via radio telemetry data. Food habits were analyzed with percent volume and frequency of occurrence methods. In winter partridge utilized pasture in a year with deep snow (56 cm) and row crops in a year with less snow (4 cm). Partridge may have been able to locate food more easily in a pasture than in a stubble field in a year with deep snow. In early spring during dispersal, pair formation, and selection of nesting territories, partridge utilized a greater variety of habitat types. Partridge utilized row crops and idle areas for this period in 1980. Birds utilized idle areas in late spring during the nesting period in both years. An unknown sex grey partridge had a home range of 60 ha during early spring. Two paired birds had home ranges of 10 ha and 17 ha, and an unpaired male had a home range of 224 ha in late spring. Home range was studied in 1980 only. Avian predators accounted for the majority of identified depredations on radio-tagged birds. Green vegetation and corn were the most important food items eaten by gray partridge according to percent volume and percent occurrence methods. Sunflower seeds and oats were also important. Green and yellow foxtail (Setaria viridis, S. lutescens) represented the highest volumes and perent occurences for weed seeds. Insects were an important food in late spring. Ants (Hymenoptera) and beetles (Coleoptera) represented the most commonly utilized insects.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Birds -- South Dakota -- Ecology


Includes bibliographical references (pages 63-67)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only