The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported that duck numbers were up significantly again over last year’s duck count. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service http://www.Flyways.us web site reported:
“Preliminary 2014 duck population and pond estimates from the annual Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey are now available. The estimate of 49.2 million breeding ducks was 8% higher than last year’s estimate of 45.6 million, and 43% above the long-term average.”
Flyways.us reported that Mallards were up to approximately 10.9 million, which was 5% above the 2013 estimate of 10.372 million, and 42% above the long-term average of 7.7 million. Bluewing Teal numbers are approximately 8.542 million, which 10% above the 2013 estimate of 7.732 million and 75% above the long-term average of 4.9 million. Green-winged teal are up to 3.440 million, which was 13% above the 2013 estimate of 3.053 million and 69% above the long-term average of 2.0 million. The estimate for American wigeon is 3.117 million up 18% from the 2013 estimate of 2.664 million and 20% above the long-term average of 2.6 million. Estimated numbers of gadwall are 3.811 million which is 14% above the 2013 estimate of 3.351 million and 102% above the long-term average 1.9 million. Scaup (both greater and lesser) showed 4.611 million, which is 11% above the 2013 estimate and 8% below the long-term average of 5.0 million. Northern shoveler (our beloved spoonys) are estimated at 5.279 million which is 11% above the 2013 estimate of 4.751 million and 114% above the long-term average of 2.5 million. Redheads were 1.279 million which is 6% above the 2013 estimate of 1.202 million and 85% above the long-term average of 0.7 million. Canvasbacks showed 0.685 million which 13% lower then the 2013 estimate of 0.787 million and 18% above the long-term average of 0.6 million. Pintails were estimated at 3.220 million, which was 3% below the 2013 estimate of 3.335 million and 20% below the long-term average of 4.0 million.
So it looks like its could be shaping up to be a great season already. Now all we need here in Southern California is some severe weather up north at the right time to trigger the duck’s migration down to our area and some much needed rain / water around our neck-o-the-woods to attract and hold the birds.
As I type this its 107 days until the season opens down here in SoCal. It might be a good time to start getting the gear together and cleaned up and inventoried. Oh, and maybe think about buying a few more boxes of shells as it looks like we’re going to have more birds to shoot at this season. (Oh, and pray for some rain!!)