• Duckling survival and incubation behaviors in common goldeneyes in Interior Alaska

      Schmidt, Joshua Harold (2004-08)
      The lack of research on the common goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) in Interior Alaska prompted this study. My objectives were to estimate duckling survival relative to several explanatory variables and to characterize incubation behaviors in a subset of females nesting in the Chena River State Recreation Area. My estimates of duckling survival were higher than previously reported for this species: 0.65 (95% CI 0.49 to 0.82) and 0.68 (95% CI 0.58 to 0.79) for 2002 and 2003 respectively. Seasonally, duckling survival increased linearly throughout 2002, remained nearly constant in 2003, and was negatively related to daily precipitation in both years. Nest attendance patterns and incubation behaviors were not related to weather, female experience, clutch size, or day of incubation. Average number of recesses per day (2.9 ± 0.05), length of recesses (100.7 ± 1.5 min), and incubation constancy (79.8 ± 0.3%) were similar to values previously reported for this species (mean ± SE). I observed nocturnal recesses in this population. Although not previously reported for this species, these recesses may occur due to extended daylight hours during the incubation period.