Waterfowl Migration Flyways

DU Projects in Migration Flyways

Magnify and Expand William Beardsley

Ducks and geese follow ancient pathways from their breeding grounds to wintering areas, an epic journey that has amazed mankind for millennia. Each fall, millions of waterfowl migrate south to warmer regions in search of food and habitat. We don't know for certain how ducks and geese navigate during migration, but scientists believe the birds take cues from the position of the sun, moon, and stars in the sky; geographic landmarks like rivers and mountains; and magnetic fields invisible to the human eye.

Conservation Projects by Flyway

Banding research helped waterfowl managers map the major migration corridors followed by ducks and geese, which are known today as flyways. For management purposes, North America is divided into four flyways—the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central, and Pacific.

For more information about waterfowl hunting management, visit www.flyways.us.