Ecological value and bird use of managed impoundments and tidal marshes of coastal South Carolina
Nareff, Gretchen Emily
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Currently, managed wetlands (impoundments) are manipulated to provide wintering habitat for waterfowl (Anseriformes) and hunting opportunities. Impoundments may be used as supplemental habitat by migrating shorebirds (Charadriiformes) that are facing declines in the quality and quantity of stopover sites. We quantified the species and number of birds present in managed impoundments and tidal marshes during migration and winter seasons with scan sample surveys, documented behavior (e.g., feeding, breeding, roosting) of target bird species with time-activity budgets, and estimated birds’ selection of food items through collection and esophageal dissection. Target bird species were Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors), Green-winged Teal (A. crecca), Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca), and Lesser Yellowlegs (T. flavipes). These data provided information on when and how the birds were using managed impoundments and tidal marshes. Our results suggest that management for multi-species use of impoundments is effective.