Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): L. Christopher Miller; R. Montague Whitling; Michael S. Fountain
    Date: 2003
    Source: Proc. Annu. Conf. Southeast Assoc. Fish and Wildlife Agencies 56:160-171
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (728 KB)


    Although winter foods of mallards (Anas platyrhyncos) and wood ducks (Aix sponsa) have been documented in several studies, no such research has been conducted in natural bottomland hardwood forests in eastern Texas. We collected 40 mallards and 38 wood ducks and sampled available foods in eastern Texas during winters 1987-1988 and a 1988-89 to study food habits and preferences. Acorns from four oak species comprised > 89% and > 99% of the diets of mallards and wood ducks, respectively. Nuttall oak (Quercus texana) acorns made up > 67% of the diet of each species both years. Program PREFER indicated seeds of decidious holly (Ilex decidua) and willow oak (Q. phellos) acorns were favored by mallards and wood ducks, respectively; preferences overlapped widely among potential foods, however. Although bottomland systems provide critical habitat for wintering waterfowl, their contributions can be enhanced by applying established silvicultural techniques to encourage desirable oak species.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Miller, L. Christopher; Whitling, R. Montague, Jr.; Fountain, Michael S. 2003. Foraging habits of mallards and wood ducks in a bottomland hardwood forest in Texas. Proc. Annu. Conf. Southeast Assoc. Fish and Wildlife Agencies 56:160-171


    acorns, food habits, food preferences, mallard, wood duck

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page