WRP and Duck Species

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WRP and Duck Species

Postby NyssaAquatica » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:00 am

I know that a lot of users on this site also have places that enrolled in WRP in the 90s, so I have a question for y'all: what, if any, changes have occurred in your WRP holes' duck species composition as your trees have matured?

On my family's property we have a 12 acre duck hole that is an X. Ducks have historically wanted to go there by the hundreds and occasional thousands, especially in the afternoon. When we acquired the place in the mid 90s, it was enrolled in WRP and planting began in 1996. We do not pump it, so flooding depends on rainfall and/or a certain body of water backing up into the hole. Generally, we will have shin-deep water by January 1, which is when the ducks will really show up anyway. For the first decade, duck species composition was pretty consistent: 75% mallards, 20% greenwings, 5% pintails. In the past decade, species composition and the way in which ducks utilize the hole has changed, especially over the past 5 years. Whereas ducks would once land primarily in the hole, they now will land both in the hole and in the shallowly flooded WRP trees surrounding the hole. Pintail and greenwing composition has dropped dramatically, mallard % has not changed, and the balance in the past two years has been made up by wood ducks. I have been most surprised by the wood duck arrival, which started last year with woodies landing and roosting in our WRP by the dozens. This year, though, we now have hundreds of woodies landing morning and afternoon in our WRP, to the point that our species composition is now about 50% mallards, 10% greenwings, and 40% woodies. I assume they are eating nutall and pin oak acorns?
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Re: WRP and Duck Species

Postby bigdecoy » Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:13 pm

NA ck your PM
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Re: WRP and Duck Species

Postby Bercy » Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:46 am

Our WRP hydrology units seem to be poorly conceived and rarely hold any ducks - if they do have ducks, the most I've ever seen is a dozen or two. We have several of these areas with the largest being about 4 acres. The trees were planted in 2003. As with yours, they will only hold rainwater and are not situated to receive much runoff. However, they are lower than the pipes, so they are hard to work/manipulate as you cannot drain them when you want to. Our hydrology units are basically worthless as to ducks.

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