Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Bird Abundance and Species Richness in Grassed Waterways in Iowa Rowcrop Fields

Georgia G. Bryan and Louis B. Best
The American Midland Naturalist
Vol. 126, No. 1 (Jul., 1991), pp. 90-102
DOI: 10.2307/2426153
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2426153
Page Count: 13
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Bird Abundance and Species Richness in Grassed Waterways in Iowa Rowcrop Fields
Preview not available

Abstract

Grassed waterways have been used for decades to prevent soil erosion in agricultural cropland, but their benefits to wildlife had not been evaluated prior to our study. We documented bird species composition and relative abundance during the breeding season in 44 grassed waterways in central Iowa. The waterways were planted predominately to smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and were in cornfields and soybean fields. Forty-eight bird species were observed in waterways, compared with only 14 in the surrounding crop fields. Red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus), dickcissels (Spiza americana), barn swallows (Hirundo rustica), western meadowlarks (Sturnella neglecta), brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater), grasshopper sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum) and song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) were the most abundant bird species in the grassed waterways. Total bird abundance in the grassed waterways averaged 2198 birds observed/census/100 ha compared with 682 in crop fields. Temporal patterns in bird abundance were attributed primarily to aspects of the waterways and surrounding cropland that changed over time, such as vegetation height. Because most (53%) of the bird species were at peak abundance in the waterways during 4-22 July, grassed waterways should not be mowed until the end of August or early September.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
90
    90
  • Thumbnail: Page 
91
    91
  • Thumbnail: Page 
92
    92
  • Thumbnail: Page 
93
    93
  • Thumbnail: Page 
94
    94
  • Thumbnail: Page 
95
    95
  • Thumbnail: Page 
96
    96
  • Thumbnail: Page 
97
    97
  • Thumbnail: Page 
98
    98
  • Thumbnail: Page 
99
    99
  • Thumbnail: Page 
100
    100
  • Thumbnail: Page 
101
    101
  • Thumbnail: Page 
102
    102