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Variation in Body Mass of Wild Canvasback and Redhead Ducklings

Jane E. Austin and Jerome R. Serie


Abstract: We assessed variation in body mass of ducklings in single- and mixed-species broods of wild Canvasbacks (Aythya valisineria) and Redheads (Aythya americana) 20-50 days old. Body mass of canvasback ducklings was not affected by year and season (early vs. late hatch date) despite changes in water conditions. Mean body mass of male and female Canvasbacks did not differ in Class IIA but did differ in older age classes. Within-brood differences in body mass tended to be higher in Class IIA ducklings (6-7% of mean body mass for Canvasbacks, 9-11% in Redheads) and generally declined to 4-6% in Class IIC and older ducklings. Some within-brood differences were as high as 20-30% of mean body mass. Tests to assess sources of within-brood variation (age, sex, and season) in body mass for Canvasbacks were inconclusive. Variation within broods was generally less than that among broods for both Canvasbacks and Redheads. The lack of differences in duckling body mass between single- and mixed-species broods for any age class, sex, or species suggests that mass was not affected by interspecific brood parasitism.

Key words: Aythya americana, Aythya valisineria, duckling, brood, body mass, Canvasback, Redhead.


This resource is based on the following source (Northern Prairie Publication 0918):
Austin, Jane E., and Jerome R. Serie.  1994.  Variation in body mass 
     of wild canvasback and redhead ducklings.  Condor 96:909-915.

This resource should be cited as:

Austin, Jane E., and Jerome R. Serie.  1994.  Variation in body mass 
     of wild canvasback and redhead ducklings.  Condor 96:909-915.  
     Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.  
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/birds/bodymass/index.htm
     (Version 12MAY03).

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Jane E. Austin, National Biological Survey, Northern Prairie Science Center, Jamestown, ND 58401-7317
Jerome R. Serie, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Migratory Bird Management, Patuxent Environmental Science Center, Laurel, MD 20708
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