Nest site selection influences cinnamon teal nest survival in Colorado

Journal of Wildlife Management
By: , and 



Nest survival of ducks is partially a function of the spatiotemporal characteristics of the site at which a bird chooses to nest. Nest survival is also a fundamental component of population growth in waterfowl but is relatively unstudied for cinnamon teal (Spatula cyanoptera). We investigated cinnamon teal nest survival in a managed wetland complex in southern Colorado, USA, and assessed nest site selection to determine whether nest site characteristics were adaptive. We monitored 85 nests in 2015–2017 on Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge, Colorado and did not detect a difference in nest survival across years. Based on nest site selection data from 2017, cinnamon teal selected nest sites characterized by a lower proportion of forbs than available sites. The relationships between habitat characteristics and nest survival were variable. Microhabitat characteristics exhibited only weak effects on nest survival during the laying stage. Nest survival during incubation was negatively related to the proportion of forbs at the nest site and, to a lesser extent, the proportion of grasses. Nest site selection was predictive of future nest survival based on the percent of forbs and grasses around the nest site, suggesting teal select nest locations to benefit reproductive success. These results have the potential to guide local habitat management actions for breeding waterfowl. 

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Nest site selection influences cinnamon teal nest survival in Colorado
Series title Journal of Wildlife Management
DOI 10.1002/jwmg.21818
Volume 84
Issue 3
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher The Wildlife Society
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Seattle
Description 11 p.
First page 542
Last page 552
Country United States
State Colorado
Other Geospatial Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge
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