Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Wildlife and Fisheries Science


Thirty-three 425 m segments of 4 intermittent streams in north central North Dakota were censured for breeding pairs of waterfowl in 1977 and 1978. Pair count data were available for 1976. Emphasis of this study was placed on the narrow meandering portions of the streams. High dabbling duck (Anas spp.) densities were observed in 1977 and 1978; 6.11 pairs per ha and 5.60 pairs per ha, respectively, for the first census of each year. Accepting blue-winged teal (A. discors), numbers of dabbler pairs were similar in 1976 and 1978. Dry conditions in 1977 caused lower numbers of all species of dabblers except gadwalls (A. strepera). Most pothole wetlands in the immediate area were wet in 1976 and dry in 1977 and 1978. Multiple regression analysis was used to analyze some of the factors which influenced pair use of the narrow portions of the streams. Height of emergent vegetation and growing crops >1.5 dm tall were negatively associated with blue-winged teal pairs while hectares of idle l and percent coverage of submersed vegetation were positively associated. Pasture >1.5 dm tall was positively associated with gadwall pairs and was the most important variable in 2 of 3 analyses. Shoreline/surface area ratio, number of Class IV wetlands, percent bare shoreline, and shoreline distance were negatively associated and surface area of water was positively associated with gadwall pairs. Mallard (A. platyrhynchos) pairs were positively associated with shoreline distance and pasture >1.5 dm tall, and negatively associated with mulched stubble <1.5 dm tall and surface area of water off the segments. Shoreline distance was the most important variable in each of two analyses for mallards. It was concluded that these streams were excellent habitat for breeding pairs of dabbling ducks. Stream channelization would severely degrade the waterfowl habitat provided by these streams.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Bird populations – North Dakota – McHenry County
Ephemeral streams


Includes bibliographical references (pages 41-45)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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