Alternate Title

Behavioral Ecology of Two Teal Species (Blue-Winged Teal, Anas discors, and Green-Winged Teal, Anas crecca) Overwintering in Marshes of Coastal Louisiana, USA

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Feeding and other dominant activities of Blue-winged Teal (BWT, Anas discors) and Green-winged Teal (GWT, Anas crecca) were compared from October 1987 to March 1988 in southwestern Louisiana, USA. Three observation towers were constructed near similar intermediate marsh habitats in areas where BWT and GWT concentrated for feeding. These observation towers allowed activities of the two species to be compared throughout the nonbreeding season. Although BWT and GWT often fed together, time spent in various activities differed. Feeding was the most frequent activity of both BWT(64.5%) and GWT (55.3%), but BWT spent more time feeding (P < 0.01) and alert (P < 0.05), but spent less (P < 0.01) time resting than GWT. Within each species there were differences in activity budgets among daily time blocks and among months, but few differences among the three habitats studied. Temperature and light intensity were correlated with resting (+), feeding (-), locomotion (-), and preening (+). Daily and monthly activity budgets of BWT and GWT were similar, as were ingested foods, suggesting that these two species used the study areas primarily for foraging, and left the areas for other activities. Predation and diminished resources during late winter may have affected activities of BWT and GWT as well.

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