Managed water on private and public land provides habitat for wintering waterfowl in the Mississippi Valley, where flood control projects have reduced the area of natural flooding. We compared waterfowl densities on rice, soybean, and moist-soil fields under cooperative agreements to retain water from 1 November through 28 February in Arkansas and Mississippi and assessed temporal changes in waterfowl density during winter in 1991-1992 and 1992-1993. Fields flooded earlier in Arkansas, but retained water later in Mississippi. Over winter, waterfowl densities decreased in Arkansas and increased in Mississippi. Densities of waterfowl, including mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), the most abundant species observed, were greatest on moist-soil fields. However, soybean fields had the greatest densities of northern shoveler (Spatula clypeata).
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Waterfowl density on agricultural fields managed to retain water in winter