Breeding Ecology of Ferruginous Hawks, Swainson’s Hawks, and Northern Harriers in South-central North Dakota (SWG T-36-R)

Publication cover

Authors and Contributors

South Dakota State University - Dr. Troy Grovenburg, Shubham Datta


Research papers

Research Category


Target Species

Ferruginous and Swainson’s Hawks

Approximate Completion Date




SWG ferruginous Swainson's hawk harrier breeding


This research project addresses the need as outlined in the North Dakota Wildlife Action Plan (NDWAP) to determine distribution and habitat use relative to historical ecosystem diversity. We propose to assess changes in land cover and landscape composition (i.e., habitat) over approximately a 30-year time period (1970s to present) and how this measured change has potentially affected the breeding ecology of the ferruginous hawk, Swainson’s hawk, and northern harrier. In addition, our proposed project (in conjunction with current South Dakota projects) is a combined effort to repeat historical studies, making results obtained from this research especially reflective of raptor population changes in portions of North Dakota. Data from this study will be combined with data from two concurrent raptor ecology projects beginning in spring 2013 in South Dakota and combined results would be provided to NDGF. Inclusion of the proposed North Dakota study is essential to conduct comparative analysis to Gilmer and Stewart (1983), gather existing and pre-construction data on wind farms, and determine all process variation influencing identified raptor populations in the southern Missouri Coteau Region.