Wetland Bird Nest Success, and Nest Site Selection in A Restored Wetland System

Auriel M. V. Fournier, Joseph D. Lancaster, Aaron P. Yetter, Abigail Shaw, Macayla Greider, Daniel Wu, Tyler Beckerman, Antonio Gio, Kayanna Wolter, Jacob Figge, Max Laurreur, Mike Wood, Cody Johnson, Devin Jen, Benjamin O'Neal, Heath Hagy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Emergent wetlands across much of central North America have been highly impacted by landcover changes and are now intensively managed to mimic natural disturbance and flooding patterns. These techniques are often used to balance the needs of a wide suite of wetland-dependent species, one subset of which is wetland dependent nesting birds who use emergent wetland vegetation. Many of these species, including rails, grebes, bitterns and stilts, have declining populations, for not yet understood reasons. Our work took place on an emergent wetland, which was restored in the past two decades and focused on two main questions, where did these species place their nests given the available habitat, and what habitat variables predicted nest success. Nest success is examined in terms of local scale factors (height of nest off the water, plants used to form nest platform) and larger scale factors (surrounding vegetation). Nest selection is compared between places where nests were found, and that which were available to the birds. Long term these results can be paired with the associated management actions and used to evaluate tradeoffs in wetland management for nesting wetland birds and other important considerations.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMidwest Fish and Wildlife Conference 2020
StatePublished - 2020


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