Nesting platforms do not increase population size but may increase productivity of Canada geese Branta canadensis at a lake in Montana, USA

  • Published source details Craighead J.J. & Stockstad D.S. (1961) Evaluating the use of aerial nesting platforms by Canada geese. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 25, 363-372


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use artificial nests that discourage predation

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Provide artificial nesting sites for wildfowl

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Use artificial nests that discourage predation

    A before-and-after study on a marshland site in Montana, USA (Craighead & Stockstad 1961), found that Canada goose Branta canadensis nests on raised artificial nesting platforms were significantly less likely to be predated than the population average (7% of 14 failed platform nests predated vs. population average of 61% of 404 failed nests). This study is discussed in detail in ‘Provide artificial nest sites’.


  2. Provide artificial nesting sites for wildfowl

    A before-and-after study on a marshland site in Montana, USA (Craighead & Stockstad 1961), found that the breeding population of Canada geese Branta canadensis did not increase consistently following the installation of raised nesting platforms in 1954 (200 pairs in 1953, increasing to 285 in 1955, falling to 154 in 1956-8). The authors note that the population decrease after 1956 appeared to be due to overhunting. Platform use increased from 5% of the breeding population in 1954 to 18% in 1958. Clutch size and nest success were similar on and off platforms, but significantly more goslings hatched in platform nests (average of 3.6 goslings/clutch for 49 nests on platforms vs. population average of 3.1 goslings/clutch for 1,113 nests). Platforms consisted of a wooden tray 76 cm x 66 cm, 15 cm deep and filled with soil and decaying vegetation. They were placed at heights of 1.2-13.7 m in trees on islands in a lake and on the lake’s shoreline. This study is also discussed in ‘Use artificial nests that discourage predation’.


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