Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. James R. Reilly


A study of the nesting and brood habitat preferences of sharp-tailed grouse (Pedioecetes phasianellus jamesi Lincoln) was conducted in southwestern North Dakota during the reproductive seasons of 1969 and 1970. Radio telemetry was used to monitor the spring and summer activities of seventeen sharp-tail hens. Eight brooding hens were semi-continuously radio-tracked for movement and cover selection. A quantitative and qualitative analysis of seventeen nests and eight renests was made to determine the preferred nesting cover and the effects of intensive grazing upon it .. Nests were established either in non-use areas or in areas of light to moderate grazing. These included both taller patch vegetation of draws and shorter uniform vegetation of open fields; greater hatching success occurred in the uniform areas. Important nest site species included crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum), buckbrush (Symporicarpos occidentalis), and sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis). Non-use grasslands, edges of heavily grazed pastures, and brushy draws were utilized extensively by broods.

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