Natural cavities used by wood ducks in north-central Minnesota

Journal of Wildlife Management
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Radio telemetry was used to locate 31 wood duck (Aix sponsa) nest cavity sites in 16 forest stands. Stands were of 2 types: (1) mature (mean = 107 years) northern hardwoods (10 nest sites), and (2) mature (mean = 68 years) quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) (21 nest sites). Aspen was the most important cavity-producing tree used by wood ducks and accounted for 57 percent of 28 cavities inspected. In stands used by wood ducks, the average density of suitable cavities was about 4 per hectare. Trees containing nests were closer to water areas (P < 0.05) and the nearest forest canopy openings (P < 0.01) than was a random sample of trees from the same stands. A significant (P < 0.005) relationship existed between the orientation of the cavity entrance and the nearest canopy opening. Potential wood duck cavities usually were clustered within a stand rather than randomly distributed. Selection of trees by woodpeckers for nest hole construction probably influenced the availability of cavities used by wood ducks. A plan for managing forests to benefit wood ducks and other wildlife dependent on old-growth timber is discussed.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Natural cavities used by wood ducks in north-central Minnesota
Series title Journal of Wildlife Management
Volume 42
Issue 2
Year Published 1978
Language English
Contributing office(s) Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Description 11 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Wildlife Management
First page 288
Last page 298