Nest Box Production And Brood Survival Of Wood Ducks On The Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge 1969

Wood duck (Aix sponsa) nest box production and brood survival was studied during 1969 on Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge. Of a total of 446 ducklings hatched in nest boxes in 1969, 397 (89%) were marked with consecutively numbered web tags before their exit from the nest box. Eighteen female wood ducks were color marked with nasal saddles so they could be identified with their respective broods throughout the nesting season. Subsequent trapping and observation provided insight into brood survival and total production of this species on Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge. During the I 57-day nesting season* 46 successful hatches were recorded out of a total of 60 nesting attempts. The average number of ducklings leaving the nest box was 9.7. From the 194 available nest boxes there were 46 (24%) successfUl hatches. Six of the 194 boxes were used twice. Brood size in the 4-7 week age class was reduced by nearly two-thirds.

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