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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Factors Associated with Duck Nest Success
in the Prairie Pothole Region of Canada


We found 5,354 duck nests that were usable for estimating chronology of nesting and habitat preferences, but excluded 510 of these for estimating survival rates. Excluded nests had been parasitized by another species when found (143); contained broken eggshells or egg content, suggesting predation had already occurred (56); contained eggs accidentally broken by an investigator (108); were abandoned on the day found, most likely because of our influence (129); or could not be relocated (74). Of the remaining 4,844 nests, 33% were mallard, 18% blue-winged teal, 15% northern pintail, 11% northern shoveler, 10% gadwall, 4% American wigeon (Anas americana), 4% lesser scaup (Aythya affinis), 3% canvasback (A. valisineria), 2% ruddy duck (Oxyura jamaicensis), 1% redhead (Aythya americana), 1% green-winged teal (Anas crecca), and <1% (2 nests) cinnamon teal (A. cyanoptera). Numbers of nests used for estimating survival rates, exposure periods, and estimated rates of nest success for the 5 common species are presented by habitat, study area, and year in Tables 1-5 of Appendix E.
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