Time-Activity budgets of waterfowl wintering on livestock ponds in Northeast Texas

Corey D. Mason, R. Montague Whiting, Warren C. Conway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We developed individual time-Activity budgets for Anas platyrhynchos (Mallard; n = 281), A. strepera (Gadwall; n = 251), and Aythya collaris (Ring-necked Duck; n = 144) wintering on livestock ponds in the Blackland Prairies Ecological Region of Texas in January and February, 2000 and 2001. Feeding (32-38%), locomoting (24-49%), and resting (10-36%) dominated the activity budgets for each species. Behaviors varied between years, probably due to the 3-fold increase in precipitation that raised water levels in livestock ponds. In 2000 and 2001, Mallards fed nearly 50% and 20% of their time, respectively, with comfort and resting occupying 60% in 2001. Gadwalls locomoted nearly 50% of their time each year, but increased surface feeding 2-fold in 2001. Finally, Ring-necked Ducks spent about a third of their time locomoting, another third resting, and the remainder subsurface feeding in 2001. Focal species activity budgets were generally similar to those developed throughout their ranges. Livestock ponds in northeast Texas provide small but regionally widespread habitats for wintering waterfowl. Future work should focus upon diet and landscape occupancy rates of waterfowl using these habitats during winter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-768
Number of pages12
JournalSoutheastern Naturalist
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2013


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