We used diurnal aerial census data to examine habitat use patterns of ducks wintering in the southern San Joaquin Valley, California from 1980-87. We calculated densities (birds/ha) for the northern pintail (Anas acuta), mallard (A. platyrhynchos), green-winged teal (A. crecca), cinnamon teal (A. cyanoptera), shoveler (A. clypeata), ruddy duck (Oxyura jamaicensis), and total ducks in each of 5 habitats. Densities of pintail and total ducks were greater in September than in other months. From October through January, density of teal and total ducks was greatest on Kern National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Densities of ruddy duck and pintail were greatest on agricultural drainwater evaporation ponds and preirrigated cropland, respectively.
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Impacts of changing irrigation practices on waterfowl habitat use in the southern San Joaquin Valley, California