Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Wildlife and Fisheries Science


Duck broods were censused on 476 randomly selected plots in South Dakota during July of the years 1973 through 1976. Broods were also censused on wetlands located off the study plots both in July and August of these years, except in 1976 when no August counts were made. Hatching and nest initiation dates were determined by back dating from brood age classes. Early nesting species were mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and pintails (A. acuta). Northern shovelers (A. clypeata), redheads (Aythya americana), and canvasbacks (A. valisineria) were intermediate nesters while blue-winged teal (Anas discors), gadwalls (A. strepera), and American wigeons (A. americana) were late nesters. Mallards and pintails initiated nests over the longest periods of time. Variables associated with wetland habitat, temperature, and physiography were examined by multiple regression to see if these factors influenced nest initiation dates, Results of the analyses were inconclusive. There is probably not enough variation in most of these aspects across South Dakota to allow statistical perception of potential relationships with nest initiation dates. I suggest that this type of analysis be applied to data collected over a much broader and more diverse area, the entire prairie pothole region.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Birds -- South Dakota -- Eggs and nests
Waterfowl -- South Dakota
Ducks -- Reproduction


Includes bibliographical references (pages 63-65)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only