Duck Populations at all time high!


Well-Known Member
Start stocking up on shells, re-paint the decoys, and book-off the season as it will likely never be better than this!
I said it was going to be a banner year when I read some of the reports from the biologists doing the surveys but I didn't think we would be setting records for numbers .
What would account for such a large increase in BWT Dave ? Also with the redheads -- aren't they parasitic nesters --putting their eggs into other hen species nests ? I must be pretty hard to get an accurate measure of those ducks but I guess they would know approx numbers that do that and percentage ratio of success.
Is this survey only a count of existing birds that were observed ? If so would not reasonable nesting success mean an actual far greater number of birds actually in the fall migration.
I defer to our own expert in this Dave ? What about the above questions if you aren't too busy cleaning and eating perch?
Great question about the BWT, Sonny! Part of the increase is likely due to great production last year when the prairies were also wet although not this wet. Additionally, there was probably a movement of BWT from areas outside the survey area, e.g., Nebraska, Iowa, onto the survey area.

Yes, some, but not all, female Redheads are parasitic and lay part or all of a clutch in ( primarily ) Canvasback nests. It is mainly first-year females that do that. But, like all prairie-breeding dusks, Redheads are in pairs when the survey is done and the pairs are what is counted.

You're correct -- the counts are of the number of breeding ducks and given good production, which is to be expected this summer, the fall population will be 2-3 times higher than the spring breeding population.
Thanks Dave, always good to get knowledgeable replies to my questions . With the fall flight being so large I guess I am going to have to get some Duck Repellant to go along with the bug juice I use in early season. Although I am told 1 1/8 oz of #4 shot administered at 1550 fps works wonders on them.
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