Cropland Nesting by Long-billed Curlews in Southern Alberta

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ABSTRACT Long-billed curlews (Numenius americanus) are described primarily as a grassland nesting species. However, no studies to date have quantified nest habitat selection among available habitats. During a study of waterfowl nest habitat selection and success in landscapes ranging from cropland to grassland-dominated, we found 9 curlew nests of which 8 were located in active cropland within cropland-dominated landscapes. Cropland nests occurred in fall-seeded winter wheat and spring-seeded barley and nests were clumped in distribution. Four cropland nests and 1 nest in native grass pasture hatched young. Further research is needed to characterize nesting habitat selection and reproductive success for this species.

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