Nesting Ecology of the Redhead Duck on Knudson Marsh, Utah

Thomas Claud Michot


Redhead duck (Aythya americana) nesting and habitat change was studied in Knudson Marsh, Utah, in 1974 and 1975, and compared with earlier studies from 1950 and 1955 on the same marsh. Water conditions in 1975 were found to be similar to those in 1950, both years of favorable habitat, yet there was a decline in numbers of redheads from 500 pairs in 1950 to 50 pairs in 1975. The number of nests found also declined from 151 in 1950 to 49 in 1975. Water conditions were poor in 1955 and slightly more favorable in 1974, but there was a decline from 95 pairs and 49 nests in 1955 to 50 pairs and 23 nests in 1974. Success of active nests was greater in the present study than in 1950, but hatching success in successful nests was greater in 1950. No appreciable change in the vegetational composition of the marsh was detected between 1950 and the present study.