Idaho Fish and GameIDFG Logo
IDFG Regions
Region 1 - PanhandleRegion 2 - ClearwaterRegion 3 - SouthwestRegion 4 - Magic ValleyRegion 5 - SoutheastRegion 6 - Upper Snake Region 7 - SalmonView list of all Regions

What predators impact upland game birds the most? Birds of prey, coyotes?

Answer

This is a difficult question to answer because it all depends on the species and the time of year.  For example, while nesting many bird nests are depredated (eaten) by foxes, skunks, badgers, coyotes, crows, ravens, magpies and even cows.  Foxes and skunks are the most notorious nest predators.  Once the eggs have hatched, the young birds are more vulnerable to birds of prey.  Upland game birds are also vulnerable to predation during times of stress (i.e. heavy snows and extremely cold weather).  While predators do have an impact, weather certainly impacts game bird populations on a yearly basis.  However, the quantity and quality of nesting habitat is critical to maintaining Idaho’s game bird populations for the long-term. Game birds require adequate undisturbed nesting cover to successfully hatch a nest and then abundant broadleaf plants and insect populations to successfully raise chicks to adult size.