Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Wildlife and Fisheries Science

First Advisor

Paul A. Vohs


Bird utilization of narrow, riparian woodland; riparian; block-like, tree claim; and linear, single-row windbreak habitats in the eastern quarter of South Dakota were studied during the spring migration, reproductive, and winter seasons. The relative importance of these three habitats and multi-row shelterbelt habitat was evaluated using bird species diversity (BSD), bird population density, and habitat preferences of individual bird species. Cluster analysis delineated distinctive vegetation cover types in each of the three habitats studied. Bird communities associated with each cover type were tabulated for comparison purposes and predication capabilities. Multiple regression analysis predicted physical and vegetation features of each habitat type that correlated with BSD, population density, and density of common nesting and wintering birds. Maintenance of BSD at present levels in woodlands of the eastern quarter of South Dakota is dependent primarily upon preservation of riparian woodland habitat, and secondly tree claim habitat. Shelterbelt and windbreak habitats supported bird diversities lower (p < 0.05) than riparian woodland or tree claim habitats during all seasons studied, but supported significantly higher ( p < 0.05 level) population densities during all seasons except winter. Single-row windbreaks were not suitable for supporting winter bird populations. Sparse stands of trees (± = 32.2 trees/0.4 ha) with occasional shrubs (± = 54.0 m3 /0.4 ha) supported all but one of the bird specific associated with dense tree stands (± = 144.2 trees/0.4 ha) with a moderately developed shrub layer (± = 678.8 m3/ 0.4 ha) in riparian woodlands during the reproductive season. Elimination of the shrub layer and loss of tree vigor, however, caused a decrease in number of species using tree claim habitat. Unique transients occurred in tree claim habitat. Unique transients occurred in tree claims with dense tree stands (± = 2126.0 trees/0.4ha) and developed shrub layers (± = 1082.6m3/0.4 ha) and in the denser riparian woodland study plots during spring migration. Maintaining maximum bird diversity in riparian woodland habitat during spring migration and reproductive seasons was most dependent on the area of habitat present. Minimum plot sizes of 6.0 ha and 5.9 ha were predicated to support 95% of the maximum BSD supported by riparian woodland habitat during the spring migration and reproductive seasons, respectfully. [See more in text]

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Birds -- South Dakota
Waterfowl -- Habitat
Birds -- Ecology -- South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references (pages 109-113)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only