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Simply Saskatchewan

Hunting in the heart of the Duck Factory is always an unforgettable experience

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 Surveys: Off To a Good Start

We've had excellent weather conditions and have made good progress on the survey. The southern grasslands are drier than last year, but the consensus is the area is about average overall. There isn’t any excess water (i.e., sheetwater), but the basins are full and providing good habitat for ducks.

Breeding Grounds Surveys: Mechanical Issues

Generally, duck numbers on the southern air-ground comparison segments were slightly higher than last year, and although water conditions on some of the more northern grassland segments such as Loreburn, Tichfield, and Hanley seemed good, duck numbers appeared to be slightly lower.

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.

DU TV Migration Report: Saskatchewan Migration

The DU TV production crew was filming in Saskatchewan last week and Zach Pederson provides an update on potential migration in Prairie Canada.

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: 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: 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: 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 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: 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.

Breeding Grounds Survey: Good Luck for the Saskatchewan Ground Crew in the South!

Although the air crew had to delay their start by a day due to weather, we have not had a weather delay since then. We traveled from Saskatoon to Swift Current, Saskatchewan, on May 8th to begin surveys in the southwest the next day.

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.

Breeding Grounds Survey: Tongue-tied

After some unexpected winter-type weather delayed our survey start, Joe Sands and I finally got under way on May 08. We were greeted with variable habitat conditions in the short-grass prairie area to the south and east of Lethbridge, Alberta, over to the Saskatchewan border.

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.

MDWFP continues support for waterfowl habitat conservation

JACKSON, Miss. – Nov. 4, 2013 – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP) Commission elected to continue their involvement in the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies' state grants program at their recent meeting. Contributions to the program support habitat conservation for waterfowl in Canada.

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.

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.

Migration Alert: Conditions look good in Saskatchewan for opener

Habitat in and around Wadena, Saskatchewan is decent as local birds begin to congregate. Sandhills are moving in, but only local ducks and geese are currently present.

Former DU president inducted into Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame

LAFAYETTE, La. - March 29, 2012 - Dr. L.J. Mayeux of Marksville, La., former national president and chairman of the board for Ducks Unlimited, is the 2012 recipient of the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award presented by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

Cold front sends Saskatchewan's ducks south in numbers

OAK HAMMOCK MARSH, Manitoba - Nov. 3, 2010 - The "weather bomb" that recently wreaked havoc in numerous ways on much of North America also sent flight after flight of ducks south from Canada's Prairies.

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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