Migration Update — November 23, 2015

Snow and Ice in the northern states have moved ducks into the central tier over the past week from the far north while the early migrating ducks slowly built up over the past few weeks. Mallard numbers in South Dakota and the upper Mississippi River have reached near peak levels as greenheads begin to scatter down the flyways. Hello folks, and, as always, welcome to Waterfowler.com. On the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday, hunters in the central states have much to celebrate as the colder weather kicks the migration into gear.   Mallards are finally on the move in the Central and Mississippi Flyways with number increasing from the Missouri River corridor to the Ohio Valley. The season long trickle of ducks has finally built in the south and huntable numbers of nearly every species will provide a mixed bag of activity for holiday hunters and their families. Continue reading

Migration Update — November 1, 2015

Colder weather has moving birds in the Central and Mississippi Flyways this week as we near the typical major migrations of November. While the flurry of activity is providing hope to waterfowl hunter in the central tier of the United States, Gadwall numbers in the Dakotas are still above average for this time of year. Hello folks, and, as always, welcome to Waterfowler.com. Colder temperatures along the US/Canada border helped push migrating birds south this week, finally moving the typical migrants off the prairie. Gadwall, widgeon and green-wing teal are finally moving south – about 2-3 weeks behind schedule. Looking back to the WFC archives, we are clearly in a typical El Nino migration. If our records hold true, we can expect a series of cold fronts followed by quick warming events into the December months. During the last El Nino event, mallards didn’t rally in southern states until mid-January. Continue reading

Migration Update — October 1, 2015

The regular waterfowl season is underway and cooler temperatures are providing excitement and hope for the seasoned waterfowl hunters. The epic flights of teal that arrived along the upper Mississippi Flyway have continued to move south and teal number in Texas have continued to climb as birds scurry down the Central Flyway. Hello folks, and, as always, welcome to Waterfowler.com. The early cold fronts that set the fall migration into motion have passed and it appears we will settle into the El Nino migration pattern that we were expecting. Opening day activity in the northern states will begin with typical teal, wood ducks and local mallards comprising the typical bag. Canada Geese have begun to arrive in the upper Mississippi Flyway in, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Northern Illinois. Hunters should look for actively feeding flocks in harvested soybean bean fields until the harvest is complete and farmers switch to the… Continue reading

Migration Update — September 10, 2015

The teal migration is finally underway. The recent cold front that passed through the prairies ignited a flurry of migration activity, with record numbers of teal being recorded by the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) team. Hello folks, and, as always, welcome to Waterfowler.com. As we count down to the regular season openers, early season teal hunters have a reason to celebrate as duck numbers along the Mississippi river survey area tip the scales at 258% above the long term average. While teal have taken the spotlight, early movements of gadwall, widgeon and ruddy ducks have also been recorded – which will provide some nice mixed bag action for northern hunters when opening day arrives. Resident goose hunting continues to provide early season action in a number of states and the cooler temperatures have made outings a bit more bearable and productive. Continue reading

Migration Update – September 1, 2015

The autumn season is upon us and the 2015 hunting season is underway across our great nation. Resident Canada goose, dove and special teal seasons will provide an abundance of opportunity for early season hunters until the general waterfowl season begins. Let the games begin! Hello folks, and, as always, welcome to another season of Waterfowler.com. As we enter our 18th year of migration coverage we’d like to thank our readers for their ongoing participation and visits to our website, migration updates and hunting reports. Of course, the value of our report archives not only offers great off season reading and information, this season the historical value will provide waterfowl hunter with planning tools when the face the El Nino migration of 2015. According to NOAA, this autumn with will face the strongest El Nino weather patterns that have been recorded. In a typical El Nino weather pattern the jet… Continue reading

Waterfowl Breeding Survey 2015 – Ducks Up, Ponds down.

  Despite the low turn out of breeding pairs in U.S. Prairie Pothole Region, the bumper crop of waterfowl from 2014 returned to Canada in record numbers.   The 2015 survey results report an all-time record high 49.5 breeding ducks – 43% above the long-term average. Hello folks, and, as always, welcome to Waterfowler.com. Despite the mild winter, early spring and lack of precipitation across the waterfowl breeding range, pond counts of 6.3 million were only 12% below the 2014 survey totals. The U.S Prairie Pothole Region was hardest hit by the drier conditions but spring rains have recharged many of the areas since breeding waterfowl passed the area. In short, waterfowl hunters will be treated to another outstanding year of waterfowl numbers. Pintail and scaup numbers remain below the long-term average and continue to be a concern. 2015 Survey Results By Species: Mallards: 11.6 million and 51% above the long-term… Continue reading

Waterfowl Habitat Update – June 1, 2015

The 60th annual spring Waterfowl Survey is nearing completion and habitat conditions vary greatly across the nesting region in North America at this time. Aerial and ground crews have experienced a number of weather delays this year and some crews are racing across flight transects to collect data. Hello folks, and, as always, welcome to Waterfowler.com. Drier conditions prevail across most of the breeding areas in the United States. The lack of snow that fueled a very fast snow goose migration did little to recharge wetlands in Montana or the Dakotas. The Coteau region and eastern North Dakota had much better conditions but waterfowl numbers are down on those areas and nesting pairs have traveled north to areas where habitat conditions are better. Survey crew condition to report that the number of drained wetlands continues to increase across the survey area at an alarming rate. In Canada, conditions range from… Continue reading

Migration Update – May 12, 2015

The Spring Waterfowl Survey is underway and participants are celebrating their 60th year of collecting waterfowl breeding data. The Spring Survey is a cooperative effort of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Canadian Wildlife Service, and state, provincial, and tribal agencies – where participants cover more than 2.1 million square miles of the northern United States and Canada to access the status of primary duck nesting areas in North America. In short, it is the most extensive wildlife survey in existence and an epic adventure indeed. Hello folks, and, as always, welcome to Waterfowler.com. It’s that time of year again. Ducks are busy getting bust, and wildlife officials have embarked on data collection efforts to determine the season lengths and bag limits for the 2015-20126 waterfowl season. Without their efforts, the waterfowl season would not exist. The past few years we have encouraged our members to stay up… Continue reading