The American black duck (Anas rubripes) is a common to fairly common breeder in BCR 14. It uses a wide variety of fresh water habitats and nests in thick understories of shrubs or hardwood or softwood regeneration. It is listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in one or more states in BCR 14. Black duck populations are declining due to habitat loss and hybridization with mallards.

Habitat Needs

Uses both coastal and fresh water wetlands. It nests in the edges of rivers, lakes and ponds, forested swamps, beaver ponds and emergent wetlands. It will also nest in upland boreal and mixed hardwood forest adjacent to wetlands.

Nesting territory size has been reported as about 6 acres.

Habitat Management Practices

Maintain a dense understory of coniferous or deciduous shrubs adjacent to the various wetlands mentioned above. Manage for aspen and other early successional trees in areas that are in close proximity to beaver ponds. Maintenance of suitable beaver habitat will allow beaver to provide wetlands and nesting habitat over time.

When assessing properties for habitat potential, look for strong aspen-producing soils such as Abenaki, Fryeburg, Hadley, Lovewell, Metallik, Podunk or Winooski in floodplains.

Silvicultural Practices

Patch cuts or clearcuts to regenerate aspen or provide dense regeneration near wetlands. Follow riparian management guidelines where applicable.

Additional Information