Date of Award


Degree Name

Biological Sciences


College of Science

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Thomas K. Pauley

Second Advisor

Leonard J. Deutsch


Utilization of wood duck (Aix sponsa, L.) nest boxes was evaluated at the Green Bottom Wildlife Management Area, a 1,110-acre mid-Ohio Valley floodplain. Primary focus was directed upon nest box utilization by the wood duck but use by other wildlife was observed and recorded. Utilization of the nest boxes by the wood duck was analyzed with respect to plant community type, orientation and juxtaposition to other wood duck nest boxes. Forty-three wood duck next boxes were observed and inspected in 1993. Wood ducks nested in 24 of the nest boxes, and 361 eggs were found. Clutch size ranged from 3 to 38 with a mean clutch size of 15. Nests with a clutch size of greater than 15 eggs suggest that the nest may have been a dump nest, i.e., a nest where eggs were deposited by two or more females. Eleven of the 24 nest boxes utilized by wood ducks contained clutches of more than 15 eggs. Eleven other species of birds, mammals and insects were observed and recorded utilizing some of the wood duck nest boxes prior to, during and subsequent to the wood duck nesting season which began in March and extended into June. Species observed were: screech owl (Otus asio), fox squirrel (Sciurus niger), sparrow hawk (Falco sparverius), starling (Sturnus vulgaris), unidentified passerine, yellow-shafted flicker (Colaptes auratus), opossum (Didelphis virginiana), field mouse (Peromyscus sp.), and Carolina wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus). The fact that nearly 50% of the 24 nest boxes utilized by wood ducks for nesting may have been dump nests suggests a high number of young females in the breeding population.


Wood duck - Nests

Green Bottom Wildlife Management Area (Cabell County, W. Va.)