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Mallard Recruitment in the Agricultural Environment of North Dakota

Distance from Trap Site to Nest and Between Nests

The amount of area used by breeding ducks is important to managers who are interested in developing nesting cover in relation to water areas. Our trap sites were on small wetlands used by pairs. The distance from trap site to nest site, therefore, is a valuable statistic for assessing the distance that mallards routinely travel to water areas from nest sites. The distribution of distances (Table 13) is highly skewed so that the median is preferable to the mean as measure of typical conditions. Telemetry data suggested that extremely large distances were probably the result of major shifts of home range by the hen. Eighty percent of the nests were <2 km from the trap site. The distance between successive nests is an additional measure of the space used by breeding mallards. Seventy percent of the second observed nests were within 2 km of the first nest.

Table 13. Distance from trap site to nest and between nests 1 and 2.
Distance from N
Distance (m)
Median Maximum Minimum
Trapsite to nest 1 111 1,865 25,358 14
Nest 1 to nest 2 30 1,371 27,430 45

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