Demographics of Wood Ducks in Florida

During 1987-1996, 9,598 wood ducks (Aix sponsa) were banded, and 358 bands were recovered and reported during the hunting season. Males survived at an estimated annual ration of 0.585 (SE = 0.028) and females at 0.406 (SE = 0.040). Analysis of capture-recapture data from box-nesting female wood ducks resulted in a mean survival rate estimate of 0.490 (SE = 0.012), which was higher than that estimated for females from preseason banding (P = 0.045). Band recovery rates averaged 0.021 (SE = 0.002) for males and 0.018 (SE = 0.002) for females, suggesting that harvest rates were relatively low. The preseason age-ratio (an estimate of recruitment) during 1989- 1996 averaged 1.18 (SE = 0.18) young per adult, which is comparable to other reported estimates for wood ducks. We found no evidence that the Florida population of female wood ducks either declined or increased over the study period.

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