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Spring migration of mallards from Arkansas as determined by satellite telemetry

December 1, 2011

We used satellite telemetry to document spring migration phenology, routes, stopover regions, and nesting sites of mallards Anas platyrhynchos marked in Arkansas during the winters of 2004-2007. Of the 143 marked mallards that migrated from Arkansas, they did so, on average, by mid-March. Mallards flew over the Missouri Ozarks and 42% made an initial stopover in Missouri, where they used areas that had larger rivers (Mississippi River, Missouri River) embedded in an agricultural landscape. From this stopover region they either migrated directly to the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) or they migrated north to Minnesota where they either moved next to the PPR or to the north and east of the PPR. For those mallards (83%) that stopped for >1 d before entering the PPR, the average length at each stop was 12 d (SE = 0.90 d, range = 2-54 d). Mallards made more stopovers, made shorter migration movements, and took longer to move to the PPR in wetter than drier years. Mallards arrived in the PPR earlier in 2006 x- = 30 March, SE = 2.18 d) than in 2005 x- = 7 April, SE = 2.30 d). Females nested across nine Bird Conservation Regions. Nesting occurred most frequently in South Dakota (n = 9). The average date when females nested was 19 April (SE = 2.44 d, range = 12 March-26 May). Because many mallards headed for the large river corridors in Missouri for their first stopover, this region is an important spring migration stopover of continental importance to mallards and might be considered a focal area for conservation.

Publication Year 2011
Title Spring migration of mallards from Arkansas as determined by satellite telemetry
DOI 10.3996/042011-JFWM-026
Authors David G. Krementz, Kwasi Asante, L.M. Naylor
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management
Index ID 70148648
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Atlanta