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Anas--Food; Invertebrates; Breeding


Foods consumed by dabbling ducks on the breeding grounds of south-central North Dakota were investigated during the spring and summer of 1967-80. Invertebrates dominated the diet of laying females. Animal foods comprised 99%, 72%, and 77% of the diet of laying blue-winged teal and northern shovelers, gadwalls, and mallards, and northern pintails, respectively. Factors that influence food selection include morphological adaptations for feeding, current physiological demands, the nutritional value of food items, and food availability. Preservation of waterfowl production habitat requires that the value of the wetland complex be recognized. Temporary, seasonal, and semi permanent wetlands provide abundant and highly available invertebrate foods for renesting females and broods successively throughout the breeding season.

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