Laying date, clutch size and egg size of the Mallard Anas platyrhynchos and Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula.
The effect of spring temperature on first egg date, laying period and last clutch date was studied in the Mallard and Tufted Duck. Seasonal clutch size and egg size trends were also examined. In years When Mallard laid early, Tufted Duck also did so. The first Mallard clutch was started earlier and laying period was longer in years with a high mean February temperature. The last clutch was started later in years with a high mean June temperature. In Tufted Duck the laying period increased and the last clutch was started later in years with high mean April temperatures.
Mean hatching date of Mallard clutches was later in years when the date of peak chironomid emergence was late.
In both species, clutch size declined through the season. Egg volume was not related to clutch size in either species, but egg volume in the Tufted Duck declined through the season. No difference in Tufted Duck egg size existed between sites, but the significance of egg size on duckling survival is discussed. Genetic factors related to individual consistency in egg size in Mallard may have obscured egg volume trends during the season because of renesting.