Wintering and Migration Landscapes

Few events in nature can rival the annual spectacle of migrating waterfowl across this continent. The fall flight is led in September by migrating blue-winged and cinnamon teal. These early migrants are followed by northern shovelers, wood ducks, gadwalls, pintails, American wigeon, green-winged teal, ring-necked ducks, canvasbacks, and redheads as well as cackling, white-fronted, snow, and Ross's geese. As the days grow shorter and the weather colder, these mid-season migrants are joined by hardier travelers-Canada geese, mallards, American black ducks, scaup, and other divers and sea ducks. All along the flyways, migrating waterfowl inspire us with their beauty and grace. DU's Big Rivers, Peaks to Prairies, Heartland Heritage and Habitat, America's River, and Southern Prairies and Playas Initiatives are named for North America's most important waterfowl migration areas. By supporting these efforts, you can help ensure that ducks and geese will always have the habitat they need to sustain them during their epic transcontinental journeys.

But waterfowl also need healthy and abundant wetlands on their wintering grounds-places where ducks and geese can thrive during the coldest months of the year, find mates, and acquire fat reserves for the upcoming spring migration and breeding season. But these important habitats are also threatened like never before. Water, in particular, is becoming an increasingly scarce commodity in many parts of the United States that are vital to wintering ducks and geese. DU's Gulf Coast, California Wetlands, Southeastern Wetlands, and Ducks in the Desert Initiatives are dedicated to conserving North America's most important wintering habitats.

Bill Ansell, who is a Diamond Heritage Sponsor, Ducks Unlimited de Mexico (DUMAC) board member, and Dr. Edward D. and Sally M. Futch Charitable Foundation trustee, is a dedicated supporter of the Gulf Coast Initiative. "Ed loved pintails," Bill said. "A significant portion of the Central Flyway pintail population winters along the Gulf Coast, and many of its wetlands are being lost. Declining rice production is also resulting in reduced feeding opportunities for pintails and other waterfowl in this region. That's why it is so important that we not only protect and restore these important habitats, but also, as Ed believed, support research to help us find out how best to help pintails and to educate the public about these great birds."

Your support will help make certain that the Gulf Coast and other legendary wintering areas, the spectacular concentrations of waterfowl they host, and the cherished waterfowl hunting traditions they support will endure.

Rescue Our Wetlands