The Fulvous Tree Duck is a locally common breeding bird of the rice fields of southwestern Louisiana. Observations made in 1955, 1956 and 1957, showed that this species was probably most abundant in the vicinity of Mamou, Evangeline Parish, and Roanoke, Jefferson Davis Parish. Tree ducks arrive in the rice country as the rice is planted in the spring and usually depart following fall harvest. A few winter in the coastal marshes. The nesting period extends from late May well into August. Thirteen and 20 pairs were found nesting in two separate five-square-mile areas. All nests observed were in rice fields. Clutch size in several nests found by John J. Lynch averaged about 13 eggs. A clutch of 23 eggs was probably a dump nest. Several investigators have reported incubation periods varying from 24 to 26 days. Nests were constructed of rice or other plants that occurred in the rice fields; they usually had a canopy and ramp; none was lined with down. Renesting compensated for some first attempt losses. Depredations on rice plantings sometimes occurred in spring in water-planted rice fields. Favorite foods were seeds of grasses and sedges found in rice fields. Flocks totalling 3000 were occasionally seen in the fall on the Lacassine Wildlife Refuge.
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Observations on the fulvous tree duck in Louisiana