Nebraska Academy of Sciences


Date of this Version

Fall 10-16-2013


Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences (2013) 33: 39-45.


Copyright (c) 2013, the authors. Used by permission.


We collected data on bird communities associated with tallgrass prairies in two areas of southeast Nebraska that have been identified for focused conservation action: the Sandstone Prairies Biologically Unique Landscape (BUL) and the Southeast Prairies BUL. Our research was conducted in June and July of 2010 and 2011 at 14 privately–owned and state–owned properties located in Gage, Jefferson, Johnson, and Pawnee Counties (Nebraska). We detected a total of 1,108 individuals representing 41 species during 10–minute point counts with 400–m radii. The most commonly encountered species, in descending order of relative abundance (individuals detected per point count) were brown–headed cowbird, dickcissel, grasshopper sparrow, and eastern meadowlark. Many grassland bird species that have been identified as being of conservation concern were detected, with a tendency for these species to be detected at study sites within the Southeast Prairies BUL. High abundances of brown–headed cowbird at all study sites and the pervasive influence of woody vegetation within these landscapes, as indicated by the detection of a high number of bird species associated with this vegetation type, may be of concern to conservation researchers, planners, and managers.