Trends in Bird Densities at a Remnant Fescue Grassland in Saskatchewan
Keywords:Bird population density trends, fescue grassland, grassland bird specialists, Saskatchewan
Populations of grassland birds in North America have declined greatly in the past five decades. Hypothesized drivers of decline include habitat loss, fragmentation, and adverse impacts from human activities. At a remnant fescue grassland in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan numbers of Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis), Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta), Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus), and Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus) have been stable. Numbers of clay-colored Sparrow (Spizella pallida) have increased since the 1960s. Sprague’s Pipit (Anthus spragueii), Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda), and Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) are no longer present. Baird’s Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii), Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), and Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris) have become irregular visitors. In the past 50 years, 91 species have been observed displaying territorial behaviour, feeding, nesting, or migrating at this remnant native grassland. With encroaching urban development and increased human influence at the prairie and surrounding area, the impacts on the bird communities at the site in the future are unknown.
Copyright for Canadian Field-Naturalist content is held by the Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club, except for content published by employees of federal government departments, in which case the copyright is held by the Crown. In-copyright content available at the Biodiversity Heritage Library is available for re-use under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) licence. For usage of content at the BHL for purposes other than those allowed under this licence, contact us.
To request use of copyright material, please contact our editor, Dr. Dwayne Lepitzki: editor -at- canadianfieldnaturalist -dot- ca