Duck Numbers Up for the Coming Season!

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported that duck numbers were up significantly over last year’s duck count. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Flyway.us web site reported:

“Preliminary results for the 2012 Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey are now available. The estimate of 48.6 million birds was 7% higher than last year’s estimate of 45.6 million, and was 43% above the long-term average.”

Flyway.us reported that Mallards were up to approximately 10.6 million, which was 15% above the 2011 estimate of 9.2 million, and 40% above the long-term average of 7.6 million. Bluewing Teal numbers are approximately 9.2 million, which was similar to the 2011 estimate and 94% above the long-term average of 4.8 million. Green-winged teal are up to 3.5 million, which was 20% above the 2011 estimate and 74% above the long-term average of 2.0 million. The estimate for American wigeon is 2.1 million was similar to the 2011 estimate and 17% below the long-term average of 2.6 million. Estimated numbers of gadwall are 3.6 million was similar to the 2011 estimate and 96% above the long-term average 1.8 million. Scaup (both greater and lesser) showed 5.2 million which is 21% above the 2011 estimate and similar to the long-term average of 5.0 million. Northern shoveler (our beloved spoonys) are 5.0 million which was similar to the 2011 estimate and 111% above the long-term average of 2.4 million. Redheads were 1.3 million which is similar to the 2011 estimate and 89% above the long-term average of 0.7 million. Canvasbacks showed 0.8 million which was similar to the 2011 estimate and 33% above the long-term average of 0.6 million. The only birds that showed any appreciable decrease were Pintails at 3.5 million, which was 22% below the 2011 estimate of 4.4 million and 14% below the long-term average of 4.0 million.

So it looks like its 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.

As I type this its 114 days until the season opens down here in our neck of the woods. It might be a good time to start getting the gear together and cleaned up and inventoried. Oh, and maybe think about stocking up on shells as it looks like we’re going to have more birds to shoot at this season.


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