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Duck numbers at Goebel good, despite dry year

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By Randy Meidinger, DU Manager of Conservation Programs, South Dakota 

We wrapped up the banding season last week and had a pretty good year considering the very dry wetland conditions on Ducks Unlimited's Goebel Ranch in South Dakota. Over the past five years we’ve averaged about 2,500 total ducks banded. This year we managed to band a little over 1,500, down 40 percent from the five-year average. The percent composition of bluewings this year compared to the five-year average at Goebel was a bit higher, (76 percent of total compared to 63 percent of total), however, percent composition of mallards was down appreciably from 20 percent over the 5-year average, to 8 percent this year.

Here is the breakdown of the 1,537 ducks banded at Goebel this season:

Bluewings: 1,171

Mallards: 120

Gadwalls: 127

Greenwings: 52

Pintails: 30

L. Scaup: 18

Ruddys: 6

Wigeons: 5

Redheads: 4

Shovelers: 3

Mallard X

Pintail

Hybrid 1

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