Wood Duck Roost Utilization Of Northeastern North Carolina Swamps

A total of 112 standardized counts of roosting ducks were made at 4 roosts within 2 typical northeastern North Carolina swamps from Sepember-March, 1972-73 and 1973-74. Zero to 60 ducks were observed per count with an overall average of 7.5. Approximately 97% of all ducks observed were wood ducks (Aix sponsa). No differences in numbers of roosting ducks were detected between years or swamps in spite of major watershed differences. However roost site differences within a swamp and several year interactions were important. A significant cubic relationship over time was noted in the average number of ducks observed per count with a peak occurring in late October and early November. Approximately 8% of all ducks observed during the counts were singles and 70% were in flocks of greater than 2 birds. Over 96% of the ducks arrived at roosts after sunset during the November-January hunting-season period whereas overall only 72% of the ducks arrived after sunset.

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