Adam McDaniel, Ducks Unlimited conservation specialist and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) partner biologist, organized a recent waterfowl workshop for NRCS, Pheasants Forever, and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) employees. The workshop was hosted by MFWP at Freezeout Lake Wildlife Management Area near Fairfield, Montana.

Participants learned to identify more than 50 species of birds, with emphasis on wetland-dependant waterfowl, shorebirds and wading birds. The group then searched for duck nests to identify the species and age of the eggs. Instructors demonstrated how different duck species use different plant species for nesting cover.

Bob Sanders, DU's Montana manager of conservation, gave a great presentation on waterfowl feeding ecology. Sanders led the group through identifying different aquatic invertebrates in different wetland types. These protein rich organisms are vitally important to nesting waterfowl and their developing ducklings.

Participants said the workshop provided a great chance for Montana conservation partners to get together to focus on wetland and waterfowl ecology. The learning opportunity showcased how the partners' collective conservation work can come together to achieve the greatest benefits for natural resources.

Credit - Josh Schrecengost, Area Biologist, Great Falls Area Office