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Banding Together for Waterfowl

2013 Spring Habitat Conditions in Canada

Above-average habitat conditions throughout most of Canada
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Boreal Yukon

Like elsewhere in the western boreal region, it's been a very long winter, and spring weather is just starting to reach parts of the territory.  For the last 30 days, temperatures have been below normal. As a result, the snowpack is above normal for this time of year. There are, however, some early breeders like mallards and goldeneyes taking advantage of what open water they can find along the wetland margins. Migration and breeding will be in full swing soon.

Given the good habitat conditions that will greet the birds, it should be another average to above - average year.

Northwest Territories

It has been one of the latest springs in recent memory. As a result, the return of migrating waterfowl has been delayed. However, geese, cranes, mallards and canvasbacks have been observed in the Yellowknife area. The larger lakes are still frozen, but smaller wetlands are opening quickly thanks to a recent warm spell, and waterfowl are taking advantage of them. Habitat conditions are generally good.

Boreal British Columbia

Spring appears to be more advanced compared to other areas of the western boreal forest. Recent warmer
weather has helped advance the breeding season. Canada geese and some early-nesting ducks like mallards are now nesting. Habitat conditions should be average.

Boreal Alberta

After experiencing one of the coldest Aprils on record, May has been rather warm.  Despite the heavy snowfall over the winter, sublimation and lack of spring rain have resulted in lower-than-expected habitat conditions.

The province is under extreme fire danger due to the recent above-average temperatures and high winds. Despite the recent weather, wetlands remain in good condition but will rapidly deteriorate if moisture is not received soon. Early reports indicate that all waterfowl species have returned and many are either currently laying eggs or in the early stages of incubation.

Boreal Saskatchewan

Spring arrived late, and heavy snow received this winter slowly disappeared over the month of May.

Breeding waterfowl also arrived late but the breeding season is in full swing. Wetlands are open and are in good to very good condition.

Boreal Manitoba

Despite above-average snow fall this winter, current water levels are lower than expected, which is probably due to a long, cool spring. However, wetlands still remain in very good condition for breeding waterfowl. All species have returned to their boreal breeding areas, and early nesters are either in the laying or early incubation stages.

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