It's what they're eating, however ...

Discussion in 'Habitat Forum' started by JFG, Feb 28, 2017.

  1. JFG

    JFG Elite Refuge Member

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    according to all findings it has NO food value. I'm talking about alligator weed and it's HIGHLY INVASIVE! Below are a few pics of it in a planted corn impoundment where it grows in the open sections between each section of corn. There is another type plant mixed with it but it is very sparse.

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    Here is a pic of that "other" plant that is somewhat mixed in with the alligator weed. Can anyone here ID it?

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    The irony here is that this place for decades has been a killing hole for tons of wigeon. Gadwall and teal are also taken in decent numbers. The birds very much like to get into the corn at night for cover and are eating some of it but most of the use is in the vegetative sections. That stands to reason since wigeon and gaddys are highly herbaceous feeders. Guess what stumps me most is are the birds actually feeding on the AG or is it something else (not invertebrates) that's not seen? Being that it hasn't formed a monoculture might have something to do with it too? Really curious ...
     
  2. Benny

    Benny Elite Refuge Member

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    I open craws and gizzards every time we get some mallards to see what they are doing.
    This year I'm planting tiny seeds in sterile soil that I can't identify to see what they are.
    They came out of the mallards.
     
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  3. Clayton

    Clayton Moderator Moderator

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    Alligatorweed is loaded with invertebrates. To test your food theories sometimes you just have to set back and let the birds land, feed then jump and shoot them. Retrieve them by the bill to keep food from pouring out. Make sure you keep them hanging head up until you can dissect them. Start cutting at throat following esophagus all the way down.
     
  4. stevena198301

    stevena198301 Elite Refuge Member

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    However you gotta justify your pot plants Benny... :l
     
  5. JFG

    JFG Elite Refuge Member

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    So right about that Clayton, have a bucket of this stuff and I'm amazed at the number of snails and other organisms moving around. But that should be typical for this time of year, given the right substrate.

    So after talking with a friend that knows this pond well, he doesn't think the stuff is actually alligator weed. Has never seen it flower (the smartweed/water pepper that precedes it does) and it doesn't form a monoculture in the interior borrow ditches or the dike banks as one might think it would do. Maybe it isn't AW after all but looking up info/photos sure points that way. Is there anyone of you guys that might have an answer to this? Would be much appreciated.


    BTW Clayton, glad to see you're back home and on the way to recovery!
     
  6. Albino Woodie

    Albino Woodie Senior Refuge Member

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    JFG if i'm not mistaken the plant you have in question has a white flower. I beleive i have some pictures of it at home on my computer growing in a beaver pond. When or if i get home from work and around a computer where i can look at it better i'll see if i can help with ID'ing it, fire season has kept me rolling pretty hard.
     
  7. Clayton

    Clayton Moderator Moderator

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    Those pictures are not of alligatoweed. I have seen that before but can't seem to think of it.
     
  8. H20DAD

    H20DAD Elite Refuge Member

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    I am not a plant expert, I am not very good at identifying plants, so I don't mean to offend.

    That looks a lot like some of the variants of smart weed we have down here. And we have several that bloom throughout the year.

    I feel your pain. The black bellys inshot the last day were stuffed with a small seed the size of a grain of salt, I have no idea what it is but the birds were almost to the point of splitting from crop to craw they were so full of them.

    It took me awhile but they finally germinated and I have these fuzzy green lines that have done nothing for the last 2-3 weeks. I will likely never know what the plant is.
     
  9. KAHunter

    KAHunter Senior Refuge Member

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    Ok lets figure out what it is. Have the same stuff growing in my corn impoundment. Def not AW. Have tried to id but with no luck. Has smaller leaf than AW and a more reddish hue to the leaves. Unfortunately dont see any food value other than inverts. Would love to figure out what it is.
     
  10. KAHunter

    KAHunter Senior Refuge Member

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    I also love to check what they are eating. Got some wood ducks on an afternoon shoot end of the season that were loaded with inverts, most notably dragonfly larvae and a spider the size of a quarter, panicum and some leafy greens. They will eat some interesting stuff sometimes
     

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