Field Reports: 2011 Duck Production Outlook

Good to excellent wetland conditions have set the stage for above-average waterfowl production on key breeding areas

Field reports map

1. BRITISH COLUMBIA Abundant precipitation has improved wetland conditions for breeding waterfowl across much of this mountainous province. Despite a delayed start because of cool spring weather, a good waterfowl breeding effort was under way in early June.

2. ALBERTA Good to excellent spring wetland conditions greeted returning waterfowl across much of Alberta's prairie and parkland regions. Large numbers of breeding mallards, pintails, and other waterfowl species were observed in many areas. With improved habitat conditions, this promises to be an above-average year for waterfowl production in this province.

3. SASKATCHEWAN Spring wetland conditions were also good to excellent across this province's vast prairie and parkland regions. East-central and southeastern Saskatchewan suffered widespread flooding in May, preventing many farmers from accessing their fields. Large numbers of waterfowl pairs were observed in the south, which bodes well for waterfowl production in this province.
4. MANITOBA Spring wetland conditions remained good to excellent across southern and central Manitoba. Waterfowl pairs were plentiful, especially in the south, indicating a strong nesting effort was under way. The abundance of water should also provide optimal conditions for renesting and brood-rearing waterfowl.

5. ONTARIO April and May were extremely wet in Ontario, with much of the south and parts of the north receiving double their normal rainfall. Wetland conditions are in very good shape as a result, and a strong waterfowl breeding effort has been observed.

6. QUÉBEC Spring was also wetter than average in Québec. Although some flooding occurred, the high water likely had a limited impact on nesting birds, and good waterfowl production is expected.      

7. ATLANTIC CANADA Field reports from this region indicate that cooler than normal temperatures delayed waterfowl nesting activity, but with an abundance of wetland habitat on the landscape, the outlook remains positive for breeding waterfowl.

8. NORTH-CENTRAL U.S. Spring was cool and wet across the northern plains following a cold winter with record snowfall. Numbers of May ponds and breeding ducks were high in most surveyed areas. Excellent waterfowl production is expected in the Dakotas and Montana, and good production should occur in other northern states.    
9. WESTERN U.S. Wet spring weather in the Central Valley of California has created good to excellent habitat for breeding waterfowl in his region. Wetland habitats are also in very good shape from the Great Salt Lake and southern Idaho to eastern Oregon and Washington. In Arizona, Nevada, and southern Utah, wetland conditions range from fair to good. In Alaska, the overall outlook for waterfowl production is favorable following the spring runoff.

Compiled from reports by DU Field Biologists