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Influence of Age and Selected Environmental Factors
on Reproductive Performance of Canvasbacks

Jerome R. Serie, David L. Trauger, and Jane E. Austin


Abstract: Age, productivity, and other factors affecting breeding performance of canvasbacks (Aythya valisineria) are poorly understood. Consequently, we tested whether reproductive performance of female canvasbacks varied with age and selected environmental factors in southwestern Manitoba from 1974 to 1980. Neither clutch size, nest parasitism, nest success, nor the number of ducklings/brood varied with age. Return rates, nest initiation dates, renesting, and hen success were age-related. Return rates averaged 21% for second-year (SY) and 69% for after-second-year (ASY) females (58% for third-year and 79% for after-third-year females). Additionally, water conditions and spring temperatures influenced chronology of arrival, timing of nesting, and reproductive success. Nest initiation by birds of all ages was affected by minimum April temperatures. Clutch size was higher in nests initiated earlier. Interspecific nest parasitism did not affect clutch size, nest success, hen success, or hatching success. Nest success was lower in dry years (17%) than in moderately wet (54%) or wet (60%) years. Nests per female were highest during wet years. No nests of SY females were found in dry years. In years of moderate to good wetland conditions, females of all ages nested. Predation was the primary factor influencing nest success. Hen success averaged 58% over all years. The number of ducklings surviving ≥20 days averaged 4.7/brood. Because SY females have lower return rates and hen success than ASY females, especially during drier years, management to increase canvasback populations might best be directed to increasing first year recruitment (no. of females returning to breed) and to increasing overall breeding success by reducing predation and enhancing local habitat conditions during nesting.
This resource is based on the following source (Northern Prairie Publication 826):
Serie, Jerome R., David L. Trauger, and Jane E. Austin.  1992.  Influence 
     of age and selected environmental factors on reproductive performance 
     of canvasbacks.  Journal of Wildlife Management 56(3):546-556.

This resource should be cited as:

Serie, Jerome R., David L. Trauger, and Jane E. Austin.  1992.  Influence 
     of age and selected environmental factors on reproductive performance 
     of canvasbacks.  Journal of Wildlife Management 56(3):546-556.  
     Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.  
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/birds/canvage/index.htm
     (Version 13NOV2001).

Table of Contents

Tables and Figures


Jerome R. Serie ¹, David L. Trauger ², and Jane E. Austin, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Jamestown, ND 58401
¹ Present address for Jerome R. Serie: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Migratory Bird Management, Laurel, MD 20708
² Present address for David L. Trauger: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD 20708
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