W. G. Swank

Post-juvenal Primary Feather Molt of Wild Mourning Doves in Texas

Comparison of observed age at post-juvenal primary molt of wild mourning doves (Zenaida macroura) with predicted ages from 5 published aging studies revealed differences (P < 0.1) for all comparisons. Observed molt occurred at an older (P < 0.0001) age than predicted by the current standard for aging juvenile doves. A new model for aging mourning dove juveniles using molt data from primaries 1-9 is presented based on data collected from wild birds on the Texas A&M University Campus. The wide range in observed age at molt of primary 10 precluded its use in these analyses.

Nest Habitat Use by Eastern Wild Turkeys in Eastern Texas

We studied habitat used for nesting by eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) on intensively managed pine forest land in eastern Texas in 1980 and 1981. Most (89%) nests were within 100 m of a road or timber stand boundary. Nest sites had <60% canopy closure, low density of rnidstory trees (16 stems/0.04 ha), low basal area (9 m2/ha), and abundant herbaceous ground and shrub cover. Retaining forest openings resulting from logging activity likely will enhance nesting habitat for turkeys in eastern Texas.

Dispersal of Restocked Eastern Wild Turkeys in East Texas

Dispersal of 54 restocked eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) was studied using radio telemetry on 2 different areas in east Texas from February 1979 through July 1981. Twenty-five turkeys dispersed farther than 5 km from the release site. The maximum distance recorded from the release site for the first year following release varied from 1.3 km to 11.9 km and averaged 4.6 km. Dispersal increased through the spring and summer following release, then did not further increase until the next spring. The mean annual dispersal area was 1,688 ha. For the entire study period,...

Waterfowl Habitat Selection on a Multipurpose Reservoir in East Texas

Aerial surveys were used to determine numbers of wintering waterfowl and their habitat preferences on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in East Texas during the winters of 1979 - 81. The magnitude of relative preference for 6 wetland types was defined as the mean difference between the ranks of wetland use and availability. A total of 23,277 waterfowl representing 14 species was tallied from 12 surveys. Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), gadwall (A. strepera), American widgeon (A. americana), and teal (Anas spp.) were the most abundant species and composed 89.0% of the total Ducks preferred scrub-shrub,...