Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Winter flooding of agricultural fields provides potential habitat for non-breeding waterfowl and is a major focus of several management and conservation efforts. Flooded fields provide resources for wintering ducks which may differ from those available in other wetland types within the landscape. Therefore, we investigated the influence of habitat (flooded rice and moist-soil wetlands), season, and time of day on the time-activity budgets of non-breeding American green-winged teal (Anas crecca), northern shoveler (A. clypeata), mallard (A. platyrhynchos) and gadwall (A. strepera) in Mississippi. Gadwall and mallards spent less time (P<0.05) feeding and more time resting in flooded rice than moist-soil wetlands and green-winged teal courted more frequently (P<0.05) in flooded rice than moist-soil wetlands. Many of the interaction effects (83%) were habitat by season, suggesting that habitats were not only used differently, but that their role did not remain constant throughout the non-breeding period. Furthermore, interaction patterns reflected species specific responses. In addition, several environmental and social factors, such as temperature, flock size, and number of conspecifics, influenced activity budgets of green-wing al and northern shovelers within flooded rice fields. Our results indicated that a multi-species approach should be taken when manipulating flooded agriculture for waterfowl by providing both area and temporal variability.