Ross School - Senior Project 2008-09

Student: Thomas Stelle

Mentor: Greg Drossel

Title: North American Black Duck

For my Senior Project I worked with fellow senior True McDonald to conduct an environmental study on the decrease of the American Black Duck. We wrote a paper about the Black Duck and its distribution, habitat, and diet. We also included the history of parks on Long Island, and their effect on the island. Our study incorporated a portion about our observations and findings that will be the included in the more scientific part of the paper. The goal of our study was to find out what has caused this decrease in the Black Duck population. We want to get more people involved in this study, and eventually determine what has caused this decrease.

Details:

AppleMark

Final Paper

For my senior project I did a study on the North American Black Duck. Growing up on Long Island I have been surrounded by the ocean, bays, woods, and beautiful nature in general. It has truly turned me into an outdoorsmen and made my love for nature grow. Since a young age my father has taken me fishing, camping, hunting, and has advocated me to spend my time outside. Mentors like my father, Jack Knoll, and Mr.Drossel have been one of the reasons I have grown to love nature and decided to do a senior project based around it.

The basic Idea for my project was to do a scientific study on the decline of the Black duck population. We were going to trap black ducks and place Global Positioning Systems (GPS) on them in order to track their movements and migrations. Another component would be doing at least one other small project because of the extra time we had. The basic idea for our product would be a paper about our findings and observations.

The goals for my project were to acquire the skills to conduct an actual field study at Flanders Property, to observe the Black duck in its familiar environment, to attain the Natural History of the Black duck, and finally to conduct a project that would be beneficial to not only the black duck but also the wildlife in general.

Senior project started last spring when we started to brainstorm what we were going to be doing for the next 8 months. Originally I thought that I would continue my M-term, a project on Green Business and Production. This changed when Mr.Drossel approached True and I to do a nature-oriented project. We were granted the Flanders Nature Reserve and started to think about what we would do our project on. It came down to the reproduction and hatching of Striped Bass or the decrease in Black duck populations. It was obvious that the Black ducks were in more danger, so we decided it on them. At first we were going to observe and test the Black ducks in their familiar environments as well as trap Black ducks and place GPS transmitters on them. This soon changed because of the late of arrival of the ducks as well as the overlap with hunting season, which meant we could not trap the ducks. For our small project we decided that we would make a pamphlet asking hunters if they have taken or seen any Black ducks, to supply us with simple information. Also if they would be willing to help us more, send us the esophagus of the duck. We placed this pamphlet at stop points, handed it out but did not get any feedback. This was annoying because we worked so hard on it. We could tell that the project was transitioning from hands on scientific study to a paper. The final breakdown of the project was going to be that I would do the Natural History of the Black duck and True would do the cultural history of the Black duck and its impact on Long Island, as well as Sportsmen’s Clubs on Long Island.

The final subjects of the paper were Introduction/Distinguishing Characteristics, Cultural History: Water Fowling and Decoys, Distribution, Habitat, Diet, Migration, Vocalizations, Behavior, Reproduction, Lifespan and Diseases, and Conclusion.

During senior project I experienced many challenges. One being time management and procrastination. The time frame of this project was quite large and I hard to learn to manage this time in an efficient way, breaking the time into small periods. Another challenge was working with a fellow student on such a big project. We worked at different rates, had different schedules, and had to learn how to work with each other. It took time but we both got accustomed with working with and around each other’s schedules. The biggest challenge I encountered during this time was maintaining focus, motivation, and interest as project evolved from a field study to a scientific paper. This was definitely disheartening because we thought that we were going to be working in nature most of our time but ended up researching and writing. It took a little time but we both learned to appreciate the project for what it was.

I learned many skills and acquired a huge amount of information between last spring and this winter. Some of the skills were collecting quality hands-on information outside of the internet, understanding the natural history of the North American Black duck, creating and citing a formal paper, and maintaining motivation and drive to meet all deadlines. I found out that if I just looked past the Internet, and reached out to professors and professionals that I could find great, insightful information. Studying the Black duck for 8 months gave me a great understanding of the Black duck as a whole. I learned so much during my senior project and found out that I wanted to stay involved with this project. This spring we have the chance to do an internship, and I think that I will be working with Ducks Unlimited on the Flanders Nature Reserve if all goes well.

I would like to give a special thanks to Greg Drossel, Patty Lien, John Coluccy and Craig Kessler my outside consultants, Mom and Dad, Hugh McGuinness, Devon Parkes, and the Suffolk County Parks Department.

Works Cited

"American Black Ducks." All About Birds. 2003. Viewed 4 Nov. 2008. <http://www.birds.cornell.edu/
allaboutbirds/birdguide/american_black_duck_dtl.html>.

American Black Duck [Black duck swimming]. Digital image. Smithsonian National Zoological Park.  Viewed 12 Nov. 2008. <http://nationalzoo.si.eduanimals/birds/index/default.cfm?id=310>.

American Black Duck [Black duck swimming]. Digital image. Smithsonian National Zoological Park. Viewed 12 Nov. 2008. <http://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/birds/index/default.cfm?id=310>.

American Black Duck. Hinterlands Who's Who. 21 Jan. 2009 <http://www.hww.ca/media.asp>.

American Black Duck [Taking off]. Digital image. Ducks Unlimited.Viewed 12 Nov. 2008. <http://www.ducks.org/ hunting/waterfowlgallery/1/index.html>.

"American Black Duck." National Audubon Society. Viewed 9 Nov. 2008. <http://www.audubon2.org/
watchlist/viewspecies.jsp?id=8>.

American Black Duck. Prod. National Film Board of Canada. Viewed 15 Nov. 2008. <http://www.hww.ca/media.asp>.

"Annual Lifecycle- Spring and Fall Migration." Ducks Unlimited.  Viewed 16 Nov. 2008. <http://www.ducks.org/conservation/waterfowlbiology/2126/waterfowllifecyclespringmigration.html>.

Ascher, John. American Black Duck [Swimming]. Digital image. Discover Life.  Viewed 2006. 13 Nov. 2008. <http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20o?search=anas+rubripes&guide=birds>.

Augustus, Jim. "Market Gunning- The Beginning." Gunning Traditions. 2006. Viewed 30 Nov. 2008. <http://www.gunningtraditions.com/>.

Baylis, Sheilia C. "Antiques as Art In East End Collections." Hamptons.com. Viewed 30 Nov. 2008. <http://www.hamptons.com/detail.ihtml?id=5474&apid=11183&sid=3&cid=38&hm=1&iv=0&townflag=>.

Ben. Mottled Duck [Swimming in glassy water]. Digital image. Picasa Web Albums. Viewed 20 Nov. 2008. <http://picasaweb.google.com/benwagg/faunabirdswaterfowl#5184098069949200610>.

Benson, Duck. Black Duck's, Mallards, and Some In Between [Mix of 6 ducks]. Digital image. Northern Wilds. Viewed 20 Nov 2008.<http://www.northernwilds.com/pages/explore/animals/black-ducks-mallards-and-some-in-between.shtml>.

“black duck.” Encyclopedia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica online. Viewed 09 Nov. 2008. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/67800/black-duck>.

Black Duck." Murray Darling Basin Commision.  Viewed 16 Nov. 2008. <http://kids.mdbc.gov.au/__data/page/337/animation.swf>.

Chaulk, Keith G. "The Timing of Waterfowl Arrival and Dispersion During Spring Migration in Labrador." EBSCO. 2007. Viewed 3 Nov. 2008. <http://search.ebscohost.com/
login.aspx?direct=true&db=gsh&an=27057794&site=ehost-live>.

Coluccy, John M. "Understanding Waterfowl- Waterfowl Diseases." Ducks Unlimited. Viewed 19 Nov. 2008. <http://www.ducks.org/conservation/waterfowlbiology/2693/understandingwaterfowlwaterfowldiseases.html>.

Ducks Unlimited. American Black Duck [Duck Standing]. Digital image. Black Duck Joint Venture. 12 Nov. 2008 <http://www.blackduckjv.org/history.html>.

Ducks Unlimited. Black Duck [4 Blacks Ducks on Rocks]. Digital image. Black Duck Joint Venture. Viewed 20 Nov. 2008. <http://www.blackduckjv.org/art/photos/blackduck_017.jpg>.

Ducks Unlimited Black Duck Research [Measuring Black Duck]. Digital image. Ducks Unlimited. Viewed 20 Nov. 2008. <http://www.ducks.org/blogs/1/171//index.html>.

Ducks Unlimited. John Coluccy. “Black Duck Close”. Email to Tom Stelle. 23 Oct. 2008.

Ducks Unlimited. John Coluccy “Black Duck Hen”. Email to Tom Stelle. 23 Oct. 2008.

Ettlinger, Richard. American Black Duck [Flying Duck]. Digital image. South Dakota Birds and Birding. Viewed 12 Nov. 2008. <http://sdakotabirds.com/species/american_black_duck_info.htm>.

Feather Hats [Greenish Feather Hat]. Digital image. Geocities. 14 Dec. 2008 <http://www.geocities.com/felicitax/hats.htm>.

Field, Van. "Old Time Duck Hunting on Long Island." Long Island Genealogy.  Viewed 30 Nov. 2008. <http://longislandgenealogy.com/wireless/duckhunting.html>.

Fighting Ducks [3 ducks fighting]. Digital image. PBase. Viewed 20 Nov. 2008. <http://www.pbase.com/
golfpic/image/25947697>.

Haramis, Michael G. Captive American Black Duck with brood in pen [Duck with babies in pen]. Digital image. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. 3 July 2008. Viewed 20 Nov. 2008. <http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/
bdjv/photos.cfm>.

"Hunting on Long Island." Department of Environment Conservation. Viewed 30 Nov. 2008. <http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/8373.html>.

Ingram, John D. Mottled Duck [Duck swimming in Reeds]. Digital image. Windowsonnature. 2001. Viewed 20 Nov. 2008. <http://www.windowsonnature.com/nature_pages/nature_map/pages/water_birds/
pages/bd_duck_mottled.htm>.

Kevin. Duck Hybrids and other oddities [Two Ducks, one ducking]. Digital image. Picasa Web Albums. Viewed 20 Nov. 2008. <http://picasaweb.google.com/kevinj.mcgowan/duckhybridsandotheroddities#5140994301354425906>.

Kramer, Gary. American Black Duck [flock of duck taking off]. Digital image. Garykramer.net. Viewed 29 Nov. 2008. <http://garykramer.net/AMERICAN%20BLACK%20DUCK-NABWBD_316_lg.jpg.html>.

Longcore, Jerry. Black Duck Nest [Nest in the trees]. Digital image. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. 3 July 2008. 20 Nov. 2008 <http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bdjv/photos.cfm>.

Lynn, Michelle. Ducks [3 ducks flying]. Digital image. Picasa Web Albums. Viewed 20 Nov. 2008. <http://picasaweb.google.com/michellelynnsts/ducks#5121120420499233282>.

Maslowski, Steven. Loose Feathers #48 [Black Duck taking off]. Digital image. A DC Birding Blog. 2 May 2008. Viewed 20 Nov. 2008. <http://dendroica.blogspot.com/2008/05/loose-feathers-148.html>.

Migration Map [Black duck migration]. Digital image. South Dakota Birds and Birding. 12 Nov. 2008 <http://sdakotabirds.com/species/american_black_duck_info.htm>.

"Native American Duck Decoys." Native Tech. 1994. Viewed 30 Nov. 2008. <http://www.nativetech.org/decoy/
duckdecoys.htm>.

"Native Americans of Long Island." Power To Learn. Viewed 30 Nov. 2008. <http://www.powertolearn.com/
li_history/namer.html>.

Native, Dixie. Family portrait [Ducks with babies]. Digital image. Flickr. 24 Apr. 2007. Viewed 20 Nov. 2008. <http://www.flickr.com/photosdixie_native/471991402/in/set-72157594567396573/>.

Native, Dixie. Lets play ring round the mommy [Little ducks in circle]. Digital image. Flickr. 24 Apr. 2007. Viewed 20 Nov. 2008. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/dixie_native/472045007/>.

Native, Dixie. Morning swim [Dark duck with babies]. Digital image. Flickr. 24 Apr. 2007. Viewed 20 Nov. 2008. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/dixie_native/471984542/in/set-72157594357783382/>.

North Carolina Wildlife Species Information [Black Duck and Mallard]. Digital image. Huckleberry Ridge Hunting Reserve. Viewed 20 Nov. 2008. <http://www.hrhunting.com/north_carolina_species/mallard.html>.

O'Brien, Stephen B. "The Pictorial Survey of Collectible Decoys." Antiques and Fine Art. Viewed 30 Nov. 2008. <http://www.antiquesandfineart.com/articles/article.cfm?request=346>.

Office of the Campus Veterninarian. "9 CFR Part 1- Definitions." Washington State University. 25 Apr. 2001. 10 Dec. 2008 <http://campusvet.wsu.edu/iacuc/9cfr1_2.html>.

Peek, G K. Typical Egg [eggs in a nest]. Digital Image. Environment Canada.  Viewed 29 Nov. 2008. <http://www.on.ec.gc.ca/wildlife/wildspace/media/habitat/large/ABDUe.jpg>

Sheluk, Judy P. "Antique Decoys: Carving a Place in Collector's hearts." New England Antiques Journal. Viewed 30 Nov. 2008. <http://www.antiquesjournal.com/pages04/monthly_pages/nov07/decoys.html>.

Sheluk, Judy P. "Duck Decoys." Florida's Best Newspaper for Antiques & Collectibles. Mar. 2005. Viewed 30 Nov. 2008. <http://www.antiqueshoppefl.com/archives/jsheluk/duck.htm>.

Smith, David S. "Record Price For Decoy." Antiques and Arts Online. 05 Dec. 2006. Viewed 30 Nov. 2008. <http://antiquesandthearts.com/2006-12-05__13-46-09.html>.

The Natural Calender [Group of ducklings swimming]. Digital image. Hilton Pond Center. Viewed 20 Nov. 2008. <http://www.hiltonpond.org/thisweek070101.html>.

US Fish and Wildlife Service. Black Duck [Black Duck Flying]. Digital image. Newsday. Viewed 20 Nov. 2008. <http://www.newsday.com/other/specialnaturalworld/ny-nw-americanblackduck,0,1091715.photo>.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. John Coluccy. “Graph on American Black Duck count Mid-winter”. Email to Tom Stelle. 23 Oct. 2008

Vezo, Tom. Black Duck Chick [Chick Running]. Digital image. Cape May Bird Observatory. 2007. Viewed 13 Nov. 2008. <http://www.birdcapemay.org/gallery/main.php/archive/tom+vezo/
american+black+duck+chick_00028.jpg.html>.

"Vincent Giannetto, III." Ducks and Such. Viewed 30 Nov. 2008. <http://ducksandsuch.com/bio.htm>.

Westlake, Kristen. Mallard Ducks [3 Ducks dipping heads]. Digital image. AvianWeb. Viewed 20 Nov. 2008. <http://www.avianweb.com/mallard.html>.

Community Member (Details)

Craig Kessler- Regional director of Ducks Unlimited

John Coluccy- Manager of Conservation Planning and Head biologist of Black Duck research initiative.