Breeding biology of Anas fulvigula maculosa (Mottled Ducks) has been described in coastal marsh and associated habitats, but little information is available for agricultural habitats in Louisiana. We located nests to determine nest-initiation dates and clutch sizes during the primary breeding season (February-May) in 1999 (n = 29) and 2000 (n = 37) on agricultural lands in southwestern Louisiana. In 1999, 60% of located nests were initiated between 22 March and 10 April, whereas in 2000, only 22% of nests were initiated during the same time period. Average clutch size was 0.9 eggs smaller in 2000 than in 1999. Annual differences in reproductive parameters corresponded with extremely dry conditions caused by low rainfall before the laying period in 2000. Flooded rice fields appear to be important loafing and feeding habitat of Mottled Ducks nesting in agricultural lands, especially during drought periods when other wetland types are not available or where natural wetlands have been eliminated.
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Breeding biology of Mottled Ducks on agricultural lands in southwestern Louisiana