Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Interspecific Relationships between American Coots and Waterfowl during Fall Migration

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1985
Authors:Eddleman, WR, Patterson, CT, Knopf, FL
Journal:The Wilson Bulletin
Date Published:1985
ISBN Number:00435643
Keywords:Anas, Anas americana, Anas clypeata, Anas penelope, Anas strepera, Anatidae, Aythya, Aythya americana, Chaulelasmus, Chaulelasmus strepera, Fulica, Fulica americana, Fulica atra, Rallidae, Spatula, Spatula clypeata, Strepera
Abstract:Temporal, spatial, and behavioral relationships between migrating American Coots (Fulica americana) and ducks were investigated in fall 1979-1981 in Oklahoma. Diets of coots, Gadwalls (Anas strepera), American Wigeons (A. americana), and Redheads (Aythya americana) were studied in fall 1980. Arrivals and departures of coots differed from those of waterfowl for all species, mainly because waterfowl migrated ahead of cold fronts and often diurnally, while coots migrated behind cold fronts and nocturnally. Significant positive correlations occurred between numbers of coots and numbers of Northern Shovelers (Anas clypeata), Gadwalls, American Wigeons, and Redheads on at least some lakes in most years. Waterfowl occurred in mixed flocks with low frequency. Gadwalls and American Wigeons were most frequently recorded with coots. Most ducks did not interact with coots in mixed flocks. Cooperative feeding and food robbery were the most frequently recorded behavioral interactions, especially between coots and Gadwalls or American Wigeons. Foods of coots and ducks were similar in most lakes and consisted mostly of aquatic vegetation. Interspecific interactions between coots and ducks are minimal because of temporal and spatial segregation during migration, and behavioral interactions that are mostly neutral or beneficial to ducks.
Short Title:The Wilson Bulletin
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