Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Lawrence Barrie Hunt


Three sunflower (Helianthus annuus) fields from 3.2 ha to 1.0 ha in size, planted on the Shelbyville Wildlife Management Area, Illinois were analyzed for seed production and utilization by birds. Seed in heads and on the ground were sampled and species and numbers of birds in the fields were censused at two week intervals from September, 1976 to February, 1977. Decline in seed availability was most rapid in the smallest field and least rapid in the largest field. Fields and portions of fields adjacent to wooded cover were also utilized more rapidly. American goldfinch (Spinus tristis) and red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) made up 68.2 percent of the birds counted in the fields, while the three gamebird species present - mourning dove (Zenaida macroura), ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) and bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) - comprised 2.2 percent of the sightings.