Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Ecology and Management of Islands, Peninsulas and Structures for Nesting
"Ducks Nesting on Chesapeake Bay Islands, 1950s vs. 1980s"
Vernon Stotts, Steve Funderburk, and Daniel Stotts
Nesting success of the black duck (Anas rubripes) was examined in the northeastern
section of Chesapeake Bay in 1986 and compared to similar data collected in the
late 1950s. Information was collected on 159 nests of black ducks and mallards.
Results showed that islands were preferred over mainland area for nesting habitat.
Of 159 nests, 99 (62%) were located on islands; 63 were black duck, 25 were mallard,
and 11 were unknown. Black ducks used islands almost exclusively (63 island nests
of a total 66 nests). Mallards used mainland areas more (37 mainland nests vs.
25 island nests). Mixed pine-hardwood forests with Japanese honeysuckle and poison
ivy undergrowth were used heavily by black ducks and mallards for nesting cover.
Comparisons of results with 1950s' data show that black duck abundance is much
less now, and that mallards are much more abundant. Nesting chronology for both
species was essentially the same as in the 1950s, although nesting success for
black ducks was somewhat lower in 1986. Recommendations are provided for habitat
preservation and enhancement.
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in Upland Habitat at Delta, Manitoba
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