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2013 Spring Habitat Conditions in Canada

Above-average habitat conditions throughout most of Canada
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BRITISH COLUMBIA

Throughout the province, the extended winter meant spring got off to a slow start. However, a recent spell of warm weather has compensated some what for a delayed breeding season. Along the coast, the mountain snow packs are rapidly melting, feeding lots of water into local streams and ponds. While snowpacks on the north and central coast were a bit low this past winter (~80 percent of average), they were near the long-term average on the south coast and island. This promises a steady supply of water through the spring and summer, and breeding conditions look to be good for the year. Local farmers have been busy preparing their fields and planting along the coast, and
the first crops are starting to grow fast.

Most of the wintering ducks such as northern pintail, northern shoveler and American wigeon have departed, with only a few stragglers remaining. They have been replaced by breeders such as cinnamon and blue-winged teal. Year-round residents such as mallard and wood duck are incubating, and the first Canada goose goslings have hatched. Precipitation was variable in the northern and southern Interior, and habitat conditions reflect this. Overall, these regions are still relatively dry, and many isolated basins (lacking stream connections) did not fill.

All expected breeders are present and accounted for, and Canada goose broods have been out for a couple of weeks in the south. Late-winter precipitation was good in the Peace region, and early conditions have recovered from a relatively dry 2012.

Spring runoff and observations of breeding effort suggest that brood production will be good.


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