Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Dr. Scott Petrie


Factors influencing utilization of elevated nesting structures by waterfowl were examined in southern Ontario and northwest Pennsylvania, 2006-2008. In the final-year, Mallard occupancy rates were 18 % in Pennsylvania and 16 % in Ontario. Mean nest success was 77 ± 20 % for combined sites (2006-2008). Final-year Wood Duck occupancy rates were 12 % in Pennsylvania and 2 % in Ontario; mean nest success was 70 ± 29 %. Mallards tended to select structures in areas with high wetland densities and adjacent to grasslands or hayfields. In Pennsylvania, Wood Ducks had similar preferences for structures as did Mallards. In Ontario, Wood Ducks were more likely to use structures with a high proportion of adjacent forest cover and a high abundance of invertebrates. Cost per duckling fledged was $20.00 with a paid technician and $5.24 if structures are maintained by volunteers. Relative to other management strategies, artificial nesting cylinders may be cost effective for increasing Mallard populations in Ontario and Pennsylvania.



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