Spring arrived slowly, with significantly wetter- and cooler-than-normal conditions across the province. Early-season duck habitats — such as vernal pools, flooded forests and flooded pastures — have lots of water across the southern agricultural land belt. In addition, permanent brood-rearing wetlands are holding water.
Waterfowl migration and breeding chronology have been delayed, but field reports indicate continued breeding effort by mallards, wood ducks and blue-winged teal throughout the spring. The return of more seasonal temperatures in May should help ensure adequate duckling food supplies.
In southern and central Ontario, the peak Canada goose hatch was delayed by upwards of 1-2 weeks. There is also evidence of renesting efforts in areas affected by spring flood events, but no widespread nesting failure has been recorded for geese this year. Currently, goose breeding and brood-rearing habitat is generally good in southern and central areas.
In Ontario's boreal region, weather reports indicate average to above-average precipitation and below-normal temperatures. Normal but delayed production is expected despite the significantly longer winter, record cold and deep snowpack.