Waterfowl use of bottomland hardwood timber stands which were flooded and killed was studied at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, Seneca Falls, New York, from 1962 to 1964. Comparisons of use were made among six habitat types containing dead timber, stumps, and no timber, and with and without emergent vegetation. An index to waterfowl use was derived by direct counts and by counts made with automatic cameras which photographed randomly selected plots in each habitat type. Movement between types was studied by observation of both marked and unmarked birds. The camera index of use showed that cut timber with emergent vegetation received the greatest overall use. Use was positively correlated with the proximity of the plot to emergent vegetation and nearest vegetative type boundary. A stand flooded for 7 years was used primarily by black ducks (Anas rubripes) and mallards (A. platyrhynchos). Use of stands flooded for 20 years was dominated by American widgeon (Mareca americana). Waterfowl spent more time resting than feeding in timbered areas, and more time feeding than resting in marsh areas. Young-of-the-year did not move between pools after they had reached an age of IIc (Gollop and Marshall 1954). Use by broods was greatest in areas near emergent vegetation. Flying birds used timbered areas during the daytime and non-timbered areas at night during fall. Flooded dead timber appeared to be attractive to waterfowl because it furnished abundant loafing sites.
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Use of flooded timber by waterfowl at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge