Diurnal Activity Budgets of Nonbreeding Waterfowl and Coots Using Catfish Ponds in Mississippi

We quantified diurnal time activity budgets of 4 waterfowl species and American coots (Fulica americana), using catfish ponds in the Delta Region of Mississippi from November to March 1983-84 and 1984-85. Within each species, activity budgets were similar (P > 0.05) between seasons (1983-84 vs. 1984-85). Primary activities of lesser scaup (Aythya ajfinis) included foraging (34.6%) and resting (27.7%). Shovelers, (Anas clypeata) mostly foraged (69.0%) and courtship and interaction activities increased in late winter. Primary activities of ring-necked ducks (Aythya collaris) were foraging (35.9%) and resting (33.7%). Ruddy ducks (Oxyura jamaicensis) mostly rested (58.4%) and foraged (23.9%), while American coots spent much of their time foraging (47.9%) and in locomotion (35.6%). Time budgets of shovelers and ring-necked ducks were each jointly dependent (P < 0.05) on month, time of day, and sex and those of coots were dependent on month and time of day. Catfish pond habitat appears to adequately supply the habitat needs of these 5 species and specific habitat management may conflict with catfish farming.

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29611