October 22, 2014
American Black Ducks Napping on the Pond
Sleeping or resting is one of the predominant activities in the fall and winter. In a study on Prince Edward Island during the winter the ducks spent 76.7% of their time resting, 11.9% feeding, 5.1% in comfort movements, 3.5% in locomotion, 1.6% in flying, and 1.2% in other activities. At northern latitudes, wintering birds may conserve energy by spending more time resting when temperatures are low, but site quality is important in determining how ducks respond to increased energy demands. Post-breeding and wintering ducks congregate at night at roosting sites that provide improved microclimate and protection from disturbance and predators. Individuals can conserve energy by modifying posture and by facing sun.