Ducks Unlimited: Above-Average Nesting Conditions in Canada

As anyone with a thermostat has noticed, the arrival of spring seemed to take forever. But, now that it’s here, Ducks Unlimited says the ducks are finding good nesting conditions across most of Canada. From the perspective of waterfowl, DU estimates that spring was delayed by about one to two weeks. That has no tangibly negative impact on ducks—they’ll just nest a little later. And, looking at the DU map, they are being greeted by ample wetland conditions thanks to sufficient rain and winter snowpack.

To summarize the DU report:

• In British Columbia, cinnamon and blue-winged teal have moved in to nest, while bigger, wintering species have pushed farther north.

• Early breeding ducks have arrived late to the highly important nesting grounds of the Western Boreal Forest, but are taking advantage of found good conditions. The Boreal Forest is a critical habitat region for a variety of waterfowl, especially scaup, who we all hope continue their comeback.

• Conditions are “very good” to “excellent” in prairie Canada, which is a welcomed sign. Prairie Canada has severely underperformed in recent years, producing fewer mallards than the Dakotas. Historically that has not been the case and, from a conservation perspective, it shouldn’t be.

• In Eastern Canada, record flooding has produced ample ponds in Ontario, and in Quebec almost all late-nesting ducks have completed migration. Eggs should soon hatch at peak numbers.

For a complete region-by-region report on Canada’s waterfowl breeding conditions, click here.

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