Dustin and Jenae DeKoekkoek/Flickr Creative Commons
Some ducks hanging out near the inlet of a detention pond.
It’s been a good season for ducks – literally. According to a new survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, duck populations in the United States and Canada has reached the highest levels ever recorded, with a total estimate of 48.6 million breeding ducks in North America. That equals a seven percent increase over the 2011 estimate of 45.6 million ducks, and a full 43 percent over the long-term average of the last fifty years. It’s an annual survey conducted jointly with the Canadian Wildlife Service that covers more than two million miles of waterfowl habitat across the two countries.
"This is the highest duck count since we started the survey in 1955," said Dr. Frank Rohwer, scientific director of Delta Waterfowl. "We had excellent wetland conditions in 2011, the second-highest pond count ever. So last year, we made a pile of ducks. This year, we're counting them." Mallards, Pintails, Shovelers and Canvasbacks are just some of the ducks species counted in the survey.