Upland wildlife habitat
Wetlands and surrounding uplands are excellent habitat for wildlife
other than waterfowl. For instance, pheasants may number as many
as 200 to 300 per square mile in the winter near well managed wetlands.
Grasses, forbs, shrubs, and trees can all be valuable cover and food
for wildlife on uplands surrounding wetlands. Recommended plantings
include switchgrass, big bluestem, little blustem, Indiangrass, alfalfa,
and birdsfoot trefoil.
Its a good idea to enhance the upland grasses and legumes by planting
rows or clumps of shrubs and trees for cover. Use a minimum of 50
shrubs, or 25 deciduous trees or conifers per clump. Planting this
winter cover on south-facing slopes will tend to keep it more free of snow.
Shrubs to consider include sumac, chokecherry, Autumn olive, Amur honeysuckle,
American plum, lilac, ninebark, gray and silky dogwood, cranberry, and
redosier dogwood. Trees include oaks, willows, ash, pine, red cedar,
Of course, this area needs to be fenced to keep livestock out.
Any mowing that needs to be done for weed control should be delayed until
at least July 15 to avoid disturbing nesting birds.
One note of caution: tall trees will be used as perches by predators
of waterfowl. Hawks and owls will prey on nesting ducks and pheasants
from these perches.
Fall pheasant numbers may be 50 to 60 per square mile in a wetland
area with well managed upland habitat, and reach as many as 300 in the