Waterbird nest density and nest survival in rice fields of southwestern Louisiana

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries; AgCenter at Louisiana State University
By: , and 



Rice fields in southwestern Louisiana provide breeding habitat for several waterbird species; however, little is known about nest density, nest survival and the importance of landscape context of rice fields in determining breeding activity. In 2004, 42 rice fields were searched for nests, and 40 were searched in 2005. Land uses surrounding rice fields, including irrigation canals, trees, crawfish ponds, rice, fallow and soybean fields, were examined to determine influence on nest density and survival. Nest densities were 13.5-16.0 nests/km2 for Purple Gallinules (Porphyrio martinica), 3.0-13.7 nests/km2 for Fulvous Whistling Ducks (Dendrocygna bicolor), 2.6-2.8 nests/km2 for Common Moorhens (Gallinula chloropus), 0.3-0.92 nests/km2 for Least Bitterns (Ixobrychus exilisi) and 0-0.6 nests/km2 for Mottled Ducks (Anas fulvigula). Nest survival was 52-79% for Purple Gallinules and 39-43% for Fulvous Whistling Ducks. Apparent nest success of Common Moorhens was 73-75%, 83% for Least Bitterns and 33% for Mottled Ducks. Purple Gallinule and Common Moorhen nest densities were highest in fields with a larger proportion of irrigation canals surrounding rice fields. Purple Gallinule nest densities were greater in fields devoid of trees and landscapes dominated by rice fields and pasture, rather than landscapes containing soybean fields and residential areas. Fulvous Whistling Duck nest densities were higher in agriculturally-dominated landscapes with few trees.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Waterbird nest density and nest survival in rice fields of southwestern Louisiana
Series title Waterbirds
DOI 10.1675/063.033.0308
Volume 33
Issue 3
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher Waterbird Society
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description 8 p.
First page 323
Last page 330
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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