Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Riffell, Sam

Committee Member

Vilella, Francsico

Committee Member

Burger, L. Wes

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


Grassland birds must have accessible, nutritional prey for nestlings which Conservation Reserve Program practices like CP33—Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds may provide. In 2008—2009, I monitored dickcissel nests in and around CP33 buffers at a farm in north-central Mississippi using video cameras to capture provisioning activities. I simultaneously observed foraging flights and measured distances traveled from nests. Orthopterans were the most commonly chosen prey, and dickcissels brought larger prey items when chicks were older. But, other changes in provisioning were not significantly related to nest age as I hypothesized. Also contrary to my initial hypotheses, provisioning at nests within buffers did not differ from non-buffer nests. CRP grasslands were equivalent to other available habitats. Provisioning rate and biomass decreased when an observer was present, and male feeding increased provisioning rate. Incorporating native warm-season grasses through conservation programs can increase nesting and foraging resources for dickcissels.



provisioning rate||foraging distances||dickcissel||Conservation Reserve Program||biomass