Linking Wetland Management Decisions to Least Bittern Nest Selection and Breeding Success

Date Published: 

Friday, June 30, 2017


  • Evan B. Hill
  • Elisabeth (Lisa) Webb
  • Doreen Mengel

Paper Summary/Abstract: 

Several secretive marsh bird (SMB) species are both migrants and breeders in Missouri. The degree to which individual birds stay to nest in Missouri versus continuing north to breed is unknown and has resulted in uncertainty regarding the role of Missouri’s wetlands for this group of birds. One key uncertainty identified by many Department wetland managers is whether their management actions are emulating wetland processes that enable SMBs to fulfill their life history requirements while in Missouri. For managers to ensure successful outcomes for individuals that use Missouri either as a stopover location or a nesting destination, they must know not only the key wetland conditions required by the birds but also the timing of when these resources are needed. Our objective was to determine the effects of hydrologic management and habitat characteristics on SMB nest site selection and daily nest survival at two spatial scales: the individual wetland and the nest point (area within 50 m of nest).

File Download: 

PDF icon Science Note Vol 12 #5, 2017

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Wetland Birds