Temperatures reached above freezing in January, with one day reaching a balmy 10 C. These mild days were often followed by a plunge in temperature, which has resulted in a layer of ice covering the ground. Many areas have had no snow cover.The Saint John River it is likely to swell less than normal this spring. Early shallow-water feeding opportunities may be in short supply for migrants and early breeders. Lower water level may decrease food availability for staging birds.
Given the lack of snow to act as insulation, coupled with several freeze-thaw cycles, there is thick ice in many areas - as thick as 16-inches in New Brunswick. The long-range forecast is calling for mixed precipitation and temperatures around the freezing mark. Wetlands are expected to remain frozen for a while yet. Depending on spring weather, it may be a later thaw than normal in spite of the warmer winter temperatures.
Though the freshet volume will likely be lower than normal this year, most impoundments will continue to operate at normal spring water levels. Overall, habitat conditions are good in Atlantic Canada.
Get the full PDF version from Ducks Unlimited Canada at http://www.ducks.ca/resource/general/wetland/habitat.html