Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Wildlife and Fisheries Science


Blue-winged teal (Anas discors), mallard (A. platyrhynchos), and pintail (A. acuta) broods were observed on 17 days between 25 June and 30 July, 1976. Brood activities and cover uses were recorded continuously from first light until dark. Observations of 269 broods from three wetlands were evaluated by species and brood age-class. Activity time budgets revealed significant (p<.01) age specific differences in total feeding time and visibility among age-classes of all species combined and age-classes of blue-winged teal broods. Feeding modes also varied among age-classes. Daily patterns of cover use varied among brood age-classes and species. Morning and evening feeding peaks became more pronounced, and overall visibility increased, with brood age. Interspecific differences in daily activity patterns were observed among broods of the same age-class. Duration of active periods increased with age in blue-winged teal broods. Active periods recurred at regular intervals in all broods throughout the day, suggestive of polycyclic behavior patterns similar to those of adult ducks. A progressive increase in brood visibility was attributed primarily to seasonal changes in brood age structure and to wetland water loss. Temperature and wind speed influenced brood visibility during most observation days. Climatic conditions favorable to nighttime brood activity influenced brood behavior during the following day. Accuracy of present brood inventory techniques could be improved if considerations were made for brood behavior patterns and environmental factors which alter brood cover use.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Ducks -- Behavior


Includes bibliographical references (pages 52-54)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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