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Age determination of mallards

Journal of Wildlife Management

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Abstract

A technique for distinguishing adult from yearling wild mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), from late winter through the nesting season, was developed by applying discriminant analysis procedures to selected wing feather characters of 126 yearlings and 76 adults (2-year-olds) hand-reared from wild eggs during 1974, 1975, and 1977. Average values for feather characters generally increased as the birds advanced from yearlings to adults. Black-white surface area of greater secondary covert 2 was the single most reliable aging character identified during the study. The error rate was lowest in females (3%) when discriminant functions were used with measurements of primary 1 weight and black-white area of greater secondary covert 2 and in males (9%) when the functions were used with black-white area of greater secondary coverts 1, 2, and 3. Methodology precludes aging of birds in the field during capture operations.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Age determination of mallards
Series title:
Journal of Wildlife Management
Volume
43
Issue:
2
Year Published:
1979
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Description:
p. 384-393
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Wildlife Management
First page:
384
Last page:
393