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1 April 2003 Evaluation of nasal discs and colored leg bands as markers for Harlequin Ducks
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Abstract

We evaluated nasal discs and colored leg bands for Harlequin Ducks (Histrionicus histrionicus) wintering in the Strait of Georgia, British Columbia, by comparing marker visibility and life span, and determining effects of nasal discs on behavior and pairing. Proportions resighted and frequency of sightings were higher for individuals marked with nasal discs than for those marked only with leg bands. Nasal disc loss followed a logistic function that predicted 50% loss by 396 d. Due to wear of leg bands, number of sightings per individual decreased with leg band age following a cubic function. We detected no effects of nasal discs on time spent in various behaviors, timing of pairing, or female pairing success. However, males with nasal discs had lower pairing success, and females with nasal discs were less likely to reunite with previous mates. We speculate that the effect of nasal discs on male pairing success may be due to a male-biased sex ratio and sexual selection on male appearance. Leg band wear should be considered for demographic models because its effects can violate assumptions and bias sighting and survival estimates.

Heidi M. Regehr and Michael S. Rodway "Evaluation of nasal discs and colored leg bands as markers for Harlequin Ducks," Journal of Field Ornithology 74(2), 129-135, (1 April 2003). https://doi.org/10.1648/0273-8570-74.2.129
Received: 25 February 2002; Accepted: 1 June 2002; Published: 1 April 2003
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