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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

First Advisor

Lester D. Flake


nesting, wood duck, habitat, environment, south dakota


Wood duck (Aix sponsa) nest boxes in eastern South Dakota were examined for use by wood ducks and competing species in 1991 (n=506) and 1992 (n=669). Nest box composition in 1991 was: 331 plastic double-walled (POW), 11 plastic single-walled (PSW), and 154 wooden nesting structures; in 1992, 382 of the boxes were PDW, 13 PSW, and 264 wooden. In both years an additional 10 nest boxes of fiberglass or metal were also monitored. Overall, 206 wood duck nesting attempts occurred, of which 142 were successful. Of the 206, 59 were in plastic boxes (3 in PSW and 56 in PDW) , with a 7% use rate in the POW boxes. Wooden boxes had a 3 5% occupancy rate. Success rates in both 1991 and 1992 for clutches initiated in both box types combined was 69%. Stepwise logistic regression identified box type (wooden) , box height, degrees the box opening faced from water (0-180) , and the presence of a nesting wood duck within 1.6 km as the best variables for predicting box use or nonuse by wood ducks. The affect of heat on use and nesting success in POW boxes, a concern among some managers and private landowners, was evaluated. Results showed plastic boxes experienced greater maximum temperatures than wooden boxes, and greater differences in daily maximum/minimum ranges. However, in 1992, a very cool summer, interior temperatures in POW and wooden boxes did not reach temperatures critical to embryos or nesting hens.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Wood duck -- South Dakota -- Nests


Includes bibliographical references (page 57-66)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 1993 Lisa Peskin Sausville. All rights reserved.