Use of artificial nest baskets by mallards

  • Published source details Bishop R.A. & Barratt R. (1970) Use of artificial nest baskets by mallards. Journal of Wildlife Management, 34, 734-738.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide artificial nesting sites for wildfowl

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Provide artificial nesting sites for wildfowl

    A replicated study on a total of 11 marshland sites in Iowa, USA, in 1964-9 (Bishop & Barratt 1970) found that mallards Anas platyrhynchos used 33% of 705 artificial nests over the study period. The percentage of the mallard population using artificial nests increased from 31% in 1966 to 46% in 1969. Four other species (blue-winged teal A. discors, gadwall A. strepera, redheads Arytha americana and Canada geese Branta canadensis) used a total of 12 nests over the study period. Nesting success in artificial nests was 87%, far higher than previous records of mallard nest success (normally 27-52%). Nests were cone-shaped, hardware-cloth baskets, 18 cm deep and erected on poles sunk into marshland, dry land and in vegetation. Not all 11 sites were used every year.


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