Effects of grazing on vegetation structure, prey availability, and reproductive success of grasshopper sparrows

  • Published source details Sutter B. & Ritchison G. (2005) Effects of grazing on vegetation structure, prey availability, and reproductive success of grasshopper sparrows. Journal of Field Ornithology, 76, 345-351.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Mow or cut natural grasslands

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Employ grazing in natural grasslands

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Mow or cut natural grasslands

    At Blue Grass Army Depot, Kentucky, USA  (Sutter & Ritchison 2005), a site comparison study in April-August 2002-2003 found that grasshopper sparrow nesting success was significantly higher in a 3,950 ha area mown in July-August compared to a 2,100 ha cattle-grazed area (70% of 34 nests in mown areas fledging at least one young vs. 25% of 12 in grazed; overall survival estimated at 46% vs. 9%). Average clutch size in the mown area (five eggs) was significantly larger than in grazed area (four eggs).


  2. Employ grazing in natural grasslands

    A study in 2002-2003 in a grassland in Kentucky, USA (Sutter & Ritchison 2005) found that grasshopper sparrows had significantly lower nesting success on a grazed grassland, compared to a mown one (estimated 25% success on cattle-grazed area vs. 70% on mown area). This study is discussed in detail in ‘Mow or cut natural grasslands’.


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