Aaron Yetter notes what affect extra water has had on duck numbers; and one nugget this week consists of loafing green-wing teal.

Aaron Yetter’s newest weblog off the weekly aerial waterfowl survey for the Illinois Pure Historical past touches on what water means to our geese, particularly mallards.

As typical, there have been nuggets. The one which caught my eye this week was “green-winged teal loafing.”


Click here for the listings of aerial surveys by the Illinois Pure Historical past Survey. Sustain with analysis updates and aerial surveys on the Forbes Biological Station Facebook page.

Right here is Yetter’s newest weblog:

November 19th, 2020 – Aerial Waterfowl Stock Weblog


We had a fantastic day for the waterfowl survey on Tuesday, November 17th. The winds weren’t extreme, and we even had some cloud cowl a part of the day. I want to fly with some cloud cowl as a result of the direct sunshine and the solar’s reflection off the water aren’t blinding me on overcast days.

I do know that is beginning to sound like a damaged report, however we actually do have loads of geese round for mid-November. Illinois River duck numbers (427,525 complete geese) have been 48% above common and up barely (11%) from final week. The identical goes for the central Mississippi River with 589,460 complete geese, which have been up 36% from common and up 32% from final week.

It appears the geese are switching refuges as extra water is turning into obtainable on the panorama. As an illustration, Chautauqua NWR has been slowly including water, and the geese have discovered it. I estimated over 100,000 geese on the South Pool of Chautauqua this week and white-fronted geese have been ample was nicely. This contrasts with Emiquon, which normally holds a giant slug of birds. Emiquon Protect was partially dewatered this 12 months to reset the marsh cycle; as a consequence, a lot of the moist-soil vegetation out there’s excessive and dry. I solely counted 1,300 geese on the “Massive E” on Tuesday. The massive winner for the higher Illinois this week was Douglas Lake with over 70,000 geese. Most of these birds have been on the jap aspect of Douglas Lake, which is what I name the Rice Pond refuge.


On the decrease Mississippi River, the Cannon refuge retains making headway with new water and duck numbers jumped to over 62,000. The Shanks refuge operated by Missouri Division of Conservation had over 66,000 geese on Tuesday morning, with a wholesome mob of green-winged teal (14,500) concentrating on the decrease finish of the refuge. And naturally, Swan Lake on the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers was nonetheless hovering round 100,000 geese. I’ve witnessed hunters posting photos of diving geese across the web over final week. We certainly had an inflow of lesser scaup (34,000 which doubled final week’s rely) on Pool 19, and even just a few widespread goldeneye made their method into the central Mississippi River.

I do know most people has been having fun with Illinois’ delicate climate during the last couple of weeks, however the waterfowl hunters are needing a change. Proper now, it’s taking some large winds to get the geese to maneuver round a bit of. In any other case, it’s stagnant on the market within the duck blind. Right here’s to the HOPE of blustery climate to return!

Good luck to Illinois deer hunters as they embark on the primary half of shotgun deer season, hopefully everybody will keep secure! For extra details about the waterfowl survey, take a look at our webpage at www.bellrose.org. Keep tuned for extra updates subsequent week…….