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Summer 2014 Habitat Conditions in Canada

Breeding habitats are in great shape in several areas, and results from the USFWS/CWS Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey confirmed that there were plenty of ducks around to enjoy these conditions in the spring.

Breeding Grounds Survey: 2014 Ungava Peninsula Survey Complete

The 2014 Ungava survey is complete. We roared to the finish line and on home with four full days of flying and (mostly) friendly weather.

Breeding Grounds Survey: Survey Complete for the Saskatchewan Ground Crew

Some areas in the very east and west of the province were drier than they have been in recent years, but much of the central grassland area of the province, stretching from south of Moose Jaw up to Saskatoon, was extremely wet.

Breeding Grounds Survey: Eastern Shoremen Finish the North

After our start-and-stop beginning to the survey, we progressed across northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba fairly quickly. The habitat appears to be some of the wettest I've seen since I started surveying the region in 2009.

Breeding Grounds Survey: Beginning the Ungava Survey

So began this year's Ungava survey for me. After a quick weekend at home upon completing the May BPOP survey, I traveled commercially to Bangor, Maine, to pick up N723, which had been undergoing routine maintenance.

Spring 2014 Habitat Conditions in Canada

After a long winter and late spring for most areas, the breeding season is underway. Migrants were delayed by 1-2 weeks but are establishing nests in the North and showing a strong breeding effort in the Prairies. More moisture will be needed in the Western Boreal Forest and in parts of southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, while higher-than-usual water levels have posed some challenges for nesters in the Eastern Region. Several areas are predicting a normal production year and next month's release of the 2014 Breeding Population Survey will provide more insight.

Breeding Grounds Survey: Steve's Otter Song

Fred and I have traveled over 5,700 miles (in 318 segments) at bird-view (150 ft.) and I now sit in a wood recliner, belly full of Arctic Char, and four feet from the waters of Great Slave Lake in Yellowknife's Old Town.

Breeding Grounds Survey: The Northwest Territories' Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Also colorful are the variations of habitat at 150 feet. Color livens, inspires, and directs life, and I could give the reader another blog about our day-to-day experiences, but I don’t think a narrative of where we flew does any justice to the sights.

Breeding Grounds Survey: Maine and Atlantic Canada Survey Area Completed

Overall, conditions across the survey area were good for breeding waterfowl, despite the late start to spring. With some more seasonal temperatures and drier conditions during the primary brood rearing period, the outlook could improve further.

Breeding Grounds Survey: Summer in Northeast Manitoba

The EPP CAGO population is primarily associated with nesting areas in northern Manitoba; migration areas in southern Manitoba, Minnesota and Iowa; and wintering areas in Missouri and Arkansas.

Breeding Grounds Survey: Superhero Escape...

Nick and I are down to the final transect, which will take us about two hours to complete if weather cooperates tomorrow. Otherwise the door closes: the white flowers, red buds and green leaves finish their springing forth, blocking our view to the waterfowl using many of the small creeks and wetlands.

Breeding Grounds Survey: On to Quebec...

After a long stretch of good flying weather, Mother Nature finally caught up with us in northern Quebec. Having finished up Stratum 50 with its abundance of water and relatively rolling terrain, we have crossed over into Stratum 69 and Quebec.

Breeding Grounds Survey: 2014 Survey Complete in Saskatchewan

Conditions were varied in this part of the survey area because winter and spring precipitation was variable. More precipitation fell in the center of the parklands between Saskatoon and Prince Albert than on the western or eastern parts of parklands.

Breeding Grounds Survey: Observations from a Midwest Observer

I have spent the last 5 years feeding ducks as they make their way south each winter and more importantly on their way back north each spring.

Breeding Grounds Survey: 2014 Survey Begins in Western Ontario

A few aircraft delays kept us from launching the survey as planned from Maryland. Now that we are piloting flying computers, we have to ensure that the software is in order.

Breeding Grounds Survey: A Snapshot of the Canadian Prairies

On May 31, I departed Calgary, Alberta, in the morning, and flew to Winnipeg, Manitoba, to commence another survey. The following photos are a snapshot of the conditions I saw along that route.

Breeding Grounds Survey: Status Update from Stratum 51

As we are nearing the end of our survey I look back and think about the territory we have covered. So far we have flown over 8,000 miles of terrain throughout southern Ontario and Quebec.

Breeding Grounds Survey: Knocking Off Deltas

Pilot biologist Fred Roetker and I now sit in Fairbanks, Alaska, waiting for our Kodiak to clear an annual, 100-hour inspection and maintenance check. We have finished Alberta and British Columbia, and are thus 34% done with our segments.

Breeding Grounds Survey: A Gorgeous Day to Fly

Regarding habitat, except for the occasional beaver dam that broke leaving a pond down from its edges, the semi-permanent depressional wetlands and permanent lakes look fantastic.

Breeding Grounds Survey: Take Home Messages

It is May 25th and the survey is over. One last night in a hotel for me and then Jim Bredy and I part ways. He will head for eastern Canada to start a Canada goose survey. I have a flight to Portland and a reunion with Jessica, Morgan, Jackson, and three dogs.

Breeding Grounds Survey: Heaven on Earth

Joe Sands and I completed the Southern and Central Alberta BPOP survey area yesterday. I feel blessed to have been able to work with this very capable waterfowl man.

Breeding Grounds Survey: Not Much, But We'll Take It

After sitting 7 of 8 days in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the air mass over the Maritimes and Gulf of St. Lawrence finally "warmed" enough that we could enter the clouds and ferry to Stephenville, Newfoundland, on Sunday, May 25.

Breeding Grounds Survey: Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia Done, Fog Grounds Crew in Halifax

The Maine and Atlantic Canada survey crew completed Prince Edward Island on May 16 and made it into Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Breeding Grounds Survey: Northwest Parklands Showing Good Waterfowl Production Potential

Another good day of flying and we've finished up the northwest parklands and will move to working the last 5 transects in the northeast parklands for the rest of this week.

Breeding Grounds Survey: Done with the Grasslands and Starting the Aspen Parklands

We are making progress. We have finished the grasslands stratum and flew our first day in the northwest parklands stratum on Sunday. In the grasslands, areas are drier than last year, especially as we headed north and west.

Breeding Grounds Surveys: It's a Roller Coaster

While I am completely focused on counting waterfowl and helping Steve watch for obstacles, I do find myself getting caught up in the wonder and beauty of nature and this earth.

Breeding Grounds Survey: Habitat Conditions Looking Good in 2014

Since our last post, John and I have been extremely busy. We’ve had six days of gorgeous weather and great survey conditions. This means clear, sunny days with little to no wind (the only thing better would have been overcast skies and no wind).

Breeding Grounds Survey: The Weather Caught Up To Us

The Alberta ground survey crew has been able to complete stratum 29, 28, and 27 in southern Alberta and have started on stratum 26. Weather has cooperated up until now, allowing our pilot Jim Bredy and observer Joe Sands to stay ahead of us.

Breeding Grounds Survey: Good Ol' Stratum 54

As we finished up Stratum 54 this week, the conditions seem to be looking positive. Having never flown the Breeding Population Survey before, Stratum 54, the block that we were flying this week, was not what I was expecting to see.

Breeding Grounds Survey: Conditions Good in Southern Saskatchewan, But Drier Than Last Year

We started the survey on May 7th and have had six good flying days. So far, conditions look good across the southern grasslands; drier than last year but wetland conditions are still good.

2014 Fall and Winter Habitat Conditions in Canada

The late fall and winter habitat conditions report is provided by Ducks Unlimited Canada. Early reports throughout Canada reflect the possibilities of favorable breeding conditions for waterfowl returning to their nesting grounds.

Oran Richard: Four Decades of Support Celebrated with Tribute Weekend

Oran Richard of Lafayette, Louisiana, is a longtime DU supporter, Wetlands America Trust board member, and Diamond Benefactor and Grand Slam Sponsor. His nearly 40 years of giving to DU's conservation work in Canada and the United States was held in March 2013 and raised $950,000.

Migration Alert: Hard Freeze in Prairie Canada Expected, Fall Flight Moves into U.S.

Marshes and potholes on the Canadian prairies are freezing up tight, and as an even stronger cold front pushes across the region this weekend, remaining waterfowl concentrated on deeper waters should also begin to move south.

Fueling the Duck Factory

For almost 50 years, states have worked with DU to conserve vital waterfowl habitat across Canada. By Scott C. Yaich, Ph.D.

Late Summer Canadian Habitat Conditions

Conditions remain favorable as late nesting success has been supported by spring precipitation. Some regions are now facing limited precipitation and fall flight is expected to be average.

Migration Alert: Saskatchewan - Late summer on the Canadian Prairies

Wetlands conditions remain very good with many shallow seasonal wetlands still holding water. Due to an unusually late spring across the prairies, we know that duck production was delayed this year, especially for early nesting species like mallards and pintails.

Spreading Our Wings in the Boreal

An innovative partnership will expand efforts to conserve vital habitat in this important waterfowl breeding area. By Kevin Smith and Fritz Reid, Ph.D.

Boreal Forest Initiative

Protect and sustain a billion acres on the vast and productive waterfowl breeding grounds of the Boreal through long-term international partnerships

Scientists Call For Boreal Forest Protections

The International Boreal Conservation Science Panel recommendations were announced today at the International Congress for Conservation Biology in Baltimore.

Ducks Unlimited Canada - Revolving land program

Ducks Unlimited Canada's Revolving Habitat Conservation Program is another tool to ensure protection of natural and restored habitat across the Prairies.

2013 Spring Habitat Conditions in Canada

Spring arrived one to two weeks late in most of Canada, which delayed some migrants, but early breeders are taking advantage of conditions.

Nebraska GPC recognized for Canadian habitat work


2013 Late Winter Habitat Conditions in Canada

Late-winter habitat conditions across Canada has been average to above average so far this year. The Prairie Region, except for Southern Alberta has received decent precipitation.

Migration Alert: Freeze-up Approaches the Northern Prairies

Parts of north-central Alberta received more than 9 inches of snow earlier this week, which will quickly push birds out of that country as waste grain becomes inaccessible under the snow. Waterfowlers across the Midwest should be on the lookout for a push of new birds coming southward over the next week.

Alberta Conservationists Receive International Recognition

DU Major Sponsors from California, Alaska, and Canada recently gathered to honor Jay and Karen Bartsch of Alberta for their dedication to conserving waterfowl habitat.

Migration Alert: Migration on the Canadian Prairies continues on schedule

Throughout Saskatchewan very good numbers of ducks were scattered across most wetlands. Light geese were abundant with good numbers of Canada geese and a few white-fronted geese also present.

Tennessee Commissioners Tour DU Canada Projects

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) has long recognized the importance of waterfowl production in Canada to its state's waterfowlers, contributing to waterfowl conservation on the Canadian prairies since 1992.

2012 Spring Habitat Conditions in Canada

The following is a compilation of environmental conditions relative to breeding waterfowl submitted by DUC field staff. These observations are not based on systematic surveys or intended to describe hunting conditions.

Ducks Unlimited conservation leader receives international NAWMP award

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - March 22, 2012 - Ducks Unlimited Chief Conservation Officer Paul Schmidt received the North American Waterfowl Management Plan's (NAWMP) International Canvasback Award last week for his significant long-term contributions to the implementation of NAWMP's conservation activities throughout North America.

World Wetlands Day memorandum of cooperation kicks off DU's 75th anniversary celebration in NYC

NEW YORK - Feb. 2, 2012 - Every Feb. 2, people all over the globe celebrate World Wetlands Day, commemorating the adoption of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in 1971, an intergovernmental treaty signed by 161 countries that recognizes the value and splendor of our wetland resources. This year's celebration was made all the more momentous earlier today as Ducks Unlimited and Ramsar signed a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) in New York City.

DU Canada Habitat Report - July 2011

According to 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Canadian Wildlife Service waterfowl surveys, total duck breeding population estimates have increased in most traditional survey areas in Canada.

Conservation in Canada

While great progress has been made in conserving Canadian waterfowl habitats, many challenges lie ahead for DU and its partners.

Prairie Sampler

A week of mixed-bag wingshooting in Saskatchewan reunites old friends and begins a new tradition.

Ducks Unlimited International Programs

Ducks Unlimited, Inc. (DU) has long recognized that maintaining North America's waterfowl populations requires conservation well beyond U.S. borders. Indeed, migratory birds present one of the greatest conservation challenges on Earth. Responsible stewardship of these species often requires conservation of habitats from the boreal forest of Canada to the tropical mangrove swamps of Venezuela and numerous points between and beyond.

The Atocas Bay Conservation Project

Overview of Ducks Unlimited's Atocas Bay Conservation Project in Alabama
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