Use of habitat and behavior of migrant shorebirds in North Dakota



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Texas Tech University


In 1994 and 1995, I evaluated the spring and summer/fall use of habitat and behavior of migrating shorebirds in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of northwestern North Dakota. My objectives were to (1) examine and compare spring and summer/fall behavior of American avocets (Recurvirostra americana), long-billed dowitchers (Limnodromus scolopaceus), stilt sandpipers (Calidris himantopus). semipalmated sandpipers (C. pusilla). and least sandpipers (C. minutilla). (2) determine use of habitat by these species, (3) document the migration chronology of these and other shorebird species that migrate through this region, and (4) use this information to develop wetland management recommendations.

Time budgets were determined seasonally for the 5 species in northwestern North Dakota. Feeding, alert, locomotion, body maintenance, and sleeping behaviors and frequency of aggressive encounters were determined. During spring and summer/fall, feeding was the predominant activity (> 50%) of long-billed dowitchers and stilt, semipalmated, and least sandpipers. Feeding dominated behavior of American avocets during summer/fall.



Shore birds, Wetland ecology