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Use of Nest Boxes by Wood Ducks in Mississippi

Thomas H. Strange, Earl R. Cunningham and John W. Goertz
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 35, No. 4 (Oct., 1971), pp. 786-793
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3799788
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3799788
Page Count: 8
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Use of Nest Boxes by Wood Ducks in Mississippi
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Abstract

Nest data for wood ducks (Aix sponsa) were obtained from 55 to 253 boxes, checked from 1966 to 1969 at Yazoo National Wildlife Refuge, Glen Alan, Mississippi. Contingent factors such as amount of utilization, nest success, and predation were compared. As a supplementary project, 30 nest boxes were erected on Bayou D'Arbonne Lake, Louisiana, to determine the primary acceptance of nest boxes in an unmanaged area. A total of 15,273 eggs were laid in the nest boxes on Yazoo National Wildlife Refuge, and 6,036 ducklings left the boxes. Thirty-five natural cavities were located on 10 line transects, each 1 chain wide, and from 3,700 to 18,000 feet in length, but none of these cavities were used as nesting sites. Nineteen of the cavities were in willows (Salix nigra), the most abundant of the 22 species of trees found on the transects. The main predators of 1,292 wood duck eggs were the yellow-shafted flicker (Colaptes auratus), the raccoon (Procyon lotor), and the rat snake (Elaphe obsoleta).

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