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Breeding Grounds Surveys: Overflight

When the prairie habitats are wet, without question they crank out a lot of ducks. During those times, the boreal habitats support production of the usual diver species, namely buffleheads, scaup, goldeneyes, mergansers, and ring-necked ducks, and mallards, wigeon, and green-winged teal remain the common puddle ducks. But when the prairies start to get a little dehydrated, this is when the boreal lends a helping hand.

Breeding Grounds Surveys: Blocking High

The habitat so far looks a little drier this spring. But this is mostly permanent-water habitat and it is really only the very small wetlands that seem to be starved for moisture, and these are not used much by waterfowl anyway. The flip side, especially in regards to the previous two springs, is that the ice has gone out early, making an abundance of habitat available to arriving waterfowl.

Breeding Grounds Surveys: Quick Notes for Early Progress

The survey is moving along quickly and keeping the crew here quite busy. So much so, that I've only just gotten around to gathering my thoughts on it all to provide the updates below.

Breeding Grounds Survey: Early Start Expected in Manitoba and Saskatchewan

Looks like surveys will be starting earlier than usual this year in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Kevin Fox and his observer John Bidwell picked up N728 on April 26th and headed west on the 27th.

Migration Alert: Manitoba's Fall Flight, Youth Hunters, and Flooding

Good duck production across Canada's prairie provinces should yield a healthy fall flight of young birds as fall progresses. Mid-summer heavy rains resulted in more flooding across Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and helped highlight again the impacts that continued wetland drainage have to all of society.

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: 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: 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: 2014 Survey Complete in Southern Manitoba

John and I finished the survey in the northern most survey area near Swan River on May 22nd. Conditions continue to look good with lots of water on the landscape. We did run into some ice on the larger lakes, including Lake Manitoba; however, it seems that things are breaking up as conditions warm.

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: Manitoba Ground Crew Reaches Half-way Point

This year we started the ground portion of the survey on May 10 and have been going ever since. We completed stratum 39 in southwestern Manitoba on May 12 and moved into stratum 34 in southeastern Saskatchewan on the 13th.

Breeding Grounds Survey: Who Moved My Calendar?

Calendars and clocks are artificial scorecards for humans. For the previous six years my old calendars have indicated that I have been in Canada on this date and yet today I am still at home in central Oregon.

Breeding Grounds Survey: Digesting Spaghetti

Staring at the tangle of wires and connections reminded me of a plateful of spaghetti and meatballs, but this serving of pasta didn’t look too appetizing. Due to a series of maintenance issues, my plane and I have been separated for nearly eight months.

Preserve Our Prairies Initiative

Conserving North America's highest-priority waterfowl nesting habitat—and the glory of bountiful fall flights—in the face of mounting threats.

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.

Prairie Pothole Region

The Prairie Pothole Region, North America's Duck Factory, is at the heart of Ducks Unlimited's conservation mission. Read more about DU's PPR priority area.

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