Science foundation Chapter 5 Appendix 5.1: Case study diving ducks

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Abstract

Diving ducks are the most abundant group of waterfowl that overwinter in the open bays and ponds of San Francisco Bay (SFB). Species within this group are primarily benthivores that dive to obtain their macroinvertebrate prey in bottom sediments, although at times they may eat plant matter or forage in the water column. These migratory species include bay ducks (lesser scaup Aythya affinis, greater scaup A. marila, canvasback A. valisineria), sea ducks (surf scoter Melanitta perspicillata and bufflehead Bucephala albeola), and a stiff-tailed duck (ruddy duck Oxyura jamaicensis). These species vary from largest to smallest body mass: canvasback, greater scaup, surf scoter, lesser scaup, ruddy duck, and bufflehead.

Their breeding grounds range from Central Valley grasslands, intermountain wetlands, prairie potholes, boreal forest, and Arctic tundra. Their wintering populations in SFB are most abundant between October and April, and SFB comprises up to 50% of the number counted during midwinter surveys on the lower Pacific coast. Species are found in all SFB regions, but greater scaup and surf scoter are most often seen in subtidal to intertidal waters and are not commonly found in baylands. In contrast, ruddy duck and bufflehead populations are most abundant in baylands, particularly in managed ponds. Canvasbacks are commonly found at estuaries or creek mouths.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Other Government Series
Title Science foundation Chapter 5 Appendix 5.1: Case study diving ducks
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher California State Coastal Conservancy
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description 11 p.
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Subtype Other Report
Larger Work Title The baylands and climate change what we can do: Baylands ecosystem habitat goals science update 2015
Country United States
State California
Other Geospatial San Francisco Bay