Ecology of the Upland Sandpiper in Central Wisconsin
Ailes, Irvin W. Ailes
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
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The Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda) was a relatively scarce bird in Wisconsin at the turn of the century. Beginning in the late 1920's, it began to reappear in its former breeding habitats (Buss and Hawkins 1939). Presently, however, this bird may once again be undergoing a change in population numbers, not only in Wisconsin, but in other sections of the country as well (Arbib 1975). In 1973, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources included the Upland Sandpiper on its list of species whose populations in the state should be watched (Hine 1973). The overgrazing of pastures and draining of wet prairies has brought about the recent concern for this species in Wisconsin. The breeding biology and habitat requirements of the Upland Sandpiper are very little known. At the time of this study, the only detailed information available on this species was a study by Buss and Hawkins (1939) in southern Wisconsin. Although this study was fairly extensive for that time, it left many questions unanswered. In order to help understand more about these birds, I initiated a two-year study of the Upland Sandpiper in the spring of 1974 in the Buena Vista Marsh in Portage County. The prime objectives of my study were to: (1) determine habitat preference for nesting, (2) determine home range and population densities of nesting pairs, (3) determine nesting success, (4) describe the behavior associated with pre-nesting, nesting and post-nesting adults, and (5) add to the general knowledge of this little-studied species. The format of this thesis deviates from the traditional in that it has been written for publication. The body has been divided into three major sections; Home Range and Daily Movement of Radio-Tagged Upland Sandpipers in Central Wisconsin, Behavior of the Upland Sandpiper in Central Wisconsin, and Breeding Biology and Habitat Use of the Upland Sandpiper in Central Wisconsin. Each section will be submitted to the Wilson Bulletin for publication. Mr. John E. Toepfer will co-author the radiotelemetry paper. Material not intended for publication is found in the Appendix.