Nesting Camera Partnership with University of North Dakota

Students study blue-winged teal and mallard nesting behavior


Photo © Michael Furtman

Even more DU/UND NestCams rolling at Coteau Ranch

Ducks Unlimited (DU) is giving people across the world an inside look at how blue-winged teal and mallards nest through a nestcam project. In its second year, the collaboration with the University of North Dakota (UND) is growing to cover more acres with more nest cameras.

UND interns and DU techs are placing cameras in duck nests to study the hens' attendance and defense, as well as giving video viewers a better understanding of duck biology and wetlands through this new approach. Each student's research will focus on a different aspect of nesting behavior and success.

New videos will be arriving soon. See some of last year's highlighted segments below.

Primarily located at DU's Coteau Ranch, the educational venture has expanded onto The Nature Conservancy's Davis Ranch, next door to Coteau. Also new this year, the Ecofootprint Enbridge Grant Program is providing funding via the Minnesota Association of Resource Conservation and Development, helping DU to purchase 20 additional camera setups.  An additional partner, the USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, is supplying ATVs and instruction in field-data collection for the students.

The nestcam collaboration will also allow people to participate in a UND citizen-science program Wildlife@Home, created by UND's Dr. Susan Ellis-Felege and Dr. Travis Desell. The citizen science program gives volunteers the opportunity to participate in the analysis of the waterfowl nesting video footage collected by the interns.

DU researchers hope students and citizen scientists begin to understand duck biology and wetlands beyond what they could learn through traditional learning avenues.

To find out more about DU's Prairie Research Program go to

Here are a few clips collected this year with some clips from last year. More are available at Wildlife@Home.

**New: DU & UND Duck Nest Cam: Hen Returning from Recess

**New: DU & UND Duck Nest Cam: Ducklings in Nest

**New: DU & UND Duck Nest Cam: Hen Leads Ducklings Away From Nest

**New: DU & UND Duck Nest Cam: Deer Eats Egg

**New: DU & UND Duck Nest Cam: Hen Prepares Nest for Recess

More on DU's prairies research





Clips are from University of North Dakota field cameras placed on duck nests at a Ducks Unlimited property in central North Dakota. DU is collaborating with UND on the nest cams project to study the habits of blue-winged teal. To view the full videos, go to UND's Wildlife@Home website and see how you can participate in this citizen science project. Discover other DU research projects here.