Breeding Grounds Survey: Back in the Prairies

May 04, 2014 - Southern Saskatchewan
By Phil Thorpe, USFWS pilot biologist, Southern Saskatchewan

Stephen Chandler and I arrived in Regina on Saturday, May 3rd. I'm lucky to get Stephen back for his second year as my observer. He did an excellent job last year and I look forward to working with him again this year. We did some aerial and ground reconnaissance today and, although we did see some large flocks of green-winged teal, which seemed unusual, all other prairie nesting species were present and in small groups or pairs. We look at several species to determine start times for the survey. We like to see the number of paired mallards about even with the number of lone drake mallards and we also like to see blue-winged teal spread out across the landscape and preferably in social groupings of a pair or pairs with one to two drakes. All these indicators were present today, so our tentative schedule to start the survey on May 6th looks good.

After -40C to -50C temperatures this past winter, there still is ice on Old Wives Lake, although it is melting quickly. Photo by Phil Thorpe, USFWS

Get more information about the 2014 BPOP Survey and other waterfowl surveys at

Find more breeding waterfowl and habitat survey updates on the DU Habitat Map