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Techniques for Studying Nest Success of Ducks in Upland Habitats in the Prairie Pothole Region

Intro Graphic

by

Albert T. Klett
Harold F. Duebbert
Craig A. Faanes
Kenneth F. Higgins

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


Abstract

Selected procedures are described for conducting nesting studies of upland nesting ducks in the prairie pothole region. Emphasis is on the use of standard procedures so that comparable results can be obtained. Major topics addressed are finding nests by flushing hens with drags pulled by vehicles, recording of appropriate data, and calculating nest success rates. Techniques are described for conducting nest searches, candling eggs in the field, determining fate of clutches, and identifying species from evidence at nests. Two methods are presented for calculating nest success.


This resource is based on the following source (Northern Prairie Publication 0630):

Klett, Albert T., Harold F. Duebbert, Craig A. Faanes, and Kenneth F. Higgins.  
     1986.  Techniques for studying nest success of ducks in upland habitats in 
     the Prairie Pothole Region.  U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Resource 
     Publication 158.  24pp. 
This resource should be cited as:
Klett, Albert T., Harold F. Duebbert, Craig A. Faanes, and Kenneth F. Higgins.  
     1986.  Techniques for studying nest success of ducks in upland habitats in 
     the Prairie Pothole Region.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Resource 
     Publication 158.  Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/birds/nest/index.htm (Version 16JUL97).

Introduction
Equipment and supplies
Choice of vehicles
Nest drags
Accessories for data collection
Nest marking supplies
Procedures for nest searches
Using the cable-chain drag
Locating nests
Marking nest locations
Determining the stage of incubation
Determining fate of nests
Successful nests
Destroyed nests
Abandoned nests
Dead embryos or infertile eggs
Considerations for scheduling nest searches
Estimating nest success
Modifications of Mayfield's method
Shortcut method for estimating nest success
Acknowledgments
References
Appendix A -- Identifying species from evidence at nests
Characteristics of breast feathers, down, and eggs
Key to down and breast feathers
Appendix B -- Instructions for recording data and calculating nest success
Glossary
Sample field form for recording nesting data
Computation of nest success

List of Figures

Downloading Instructions -- Instructions on downloading and extracting files from this site.
Download icon nest.zip (2.0M) -- Techniques for Studying Nest Success of Ducks in Upland Habitats in the Prairie Pothole Region Installation: Extract all files and open index.htm in a web browser.

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