THE EFFECT OF VARIABLE SPRING WATER CONDITIONS ON MALLARD REPRODUCTION

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) Science Article 10

abstract

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) breeding densities in the prairie pothole habitat of eastern North Dakota during 1961-1980 varied from 2.28 birds/km2 in 1977 to 9.47 birds/km2 in 1963 and were correlated with pond abundance (r = 0.543, P < 0.05). The number of basins used by pairs declined with drought, as did home-range size. Nesting activity also varied with the number of ponds holding water/km2, ranging from high (including substantial renesting) under favorable water conditions to low during extreme drought. The span between first and last nest initiations declined by 19 days from a wet to a dry year.

GARY L. KRAPU, ALBERT T. KLETT, DENNIS G. JORDE, The Auk 100: 689-698. July 1983

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