US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Published in WILDLIFE MONOGRAPHS No. 128, January 1995.


Populations of some dabbling ducks have declined sharply in recent decades and information is needed to understand reasons for this. During 1982-85, we studied duck nesting for 1-4 years in 17 1.6 by 16.0-km, high-density duck areas in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of Canada, 9 in parkland and 8 in prairie. We estimated nest-initiation dates, habitat preferences, nest success, and nest fates for mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), gadwalls (A. strepera), blue-winged teals (A. discors), northern shovelers (A. clypeata), and northern pintails (A. acuta). We also examined the relation of mallard production to geographic and temporal variation in wetlands, breeding populations, nesting effort, and hatch rate.