Duckling survival in wood duck (Aix sponsa) and mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) broods was estimated from data obtained from 71 radio-marked brood hens on a study area in north-central Minnesota. Radio-marked hens produced 30 broods during the study, and 41 hens already leading broods were captured and radio-marked. Production estimates based on brood size counts were inflated by about 38 percent for wood ducks and 30 percent for mallards if total-brood losses were not taken into account. Mortality during the first 2 weeks of life was most severe, accounting for 86 percent of total recorded mortality in wood ducks and 70 percent in mallards. Rearing success was about 41 percent for wood ducks and 44 percent for mallards. Duckling survival was negatively correlated with distance of overland travel by young broods. Wood ducks had a shorter hen-brood bond than mallards and presence of the hen appeared to affect duckling survival less in wood duck broods than in mallards.
Additional publication details
Survival of wood duck and mallard broods in north-central Minnesota