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Nest site selection influences cinnamon teal nest survival in Colorado

January 6, 2020

Nest survival of ducks is partially a function of the spatiotemporal characteristics of the site at which a bird chooses to nest. Nest survival is also a fundamental component of population growth in waterfowl but is relatively unstudied for cinnamon teal (Spatula cyanoptera). We investigated cinnamon teal nest survival in a managed wetland complex in southern Colorado, USA, and assessed nest site selection to determine whether nest site characteristics were adaptive. We monitored 85 nests in 2015–2017 on Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge, Colorado and did not detect a difference in nest survival across years. Based on nest site selection data from 2017, cinnamon teal selected nest sites characterized by a lower proportion of forbs than available sites. The relationships between habitat characteristics and nest survival were variable. Microhabitat characteristics exhibited only weak effects on nest survival during the laying stage. Nest survival during incubation was negatively related to the proportion of forbs at the nest site and, to a lesser extent, the proportion of grasses. Nest site selection was predictive of future nest survival based on the percent of forbs and grasses around the nest site, suggesting teal select nest locations to benefit reproductive success. These results have the potential to guide local habitat management actions for breeding waterfowl. 

Publication Year 2020
Title Nest site selection influences cinnamon teal nest survival in Colorado
DOI 10.1002/jwmg.21818
Authors William L. Kendall, Casey M. Setash, David Olson
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Wildlife Management
Index ID 70224539
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Seattle