Skip to main content

Duck numbers variable, Canada goose numbers up from last year

Jul 16, 2017 02:13PM ● Published by Editor

A painting of a redhead duck by Richfield artist Timothy Turenne will be featured on the 2017 Minnesota Migratory Waterfowl Stamp, after Turenne won the annual stamp contest sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources.

FROM THE MINNESOTA DNR - July 10, 2017

Population counts showed variable results for several species of ducks that breed in Minnesota, according to the results of the annual Department of Natural Resources spring waterfowl surveys. 

“Mallard and blue-winged teal counts declined some from last year but we saw some increases in other species like ring-necked ducks, wood ducks and hooded mergansers,” said Steve Cordts, DNR waterfowl specialist. “However, there is always considerable variability in the annual estimates. The survey is designed for mallards and our breeding mallard population remains near its long-term average.”

This year’s mallard breeding population was estimated at 214,000, which is 15 percent below last year’s estimate of 250,000 breeding mallards and 6 percent below the long-term average measured each year since 1968.

The blue-winged teal population is 159,000 this year, 51 percent below last year’s estimate and 25 percent below the long-term average.

The combined populations of other ducks such as ring-necked ducks, wood ducks, gadwalls, northern shovelers, canvasbacks and redheads is 263,000, which is 23 percent higher than last year and 48 percent above the long-term average.

The estimate of total duck abundance (excluding scaup) is 636,000, which is 19 percent lower than last year and 3 percent above the long-term average.

The estimated number of wetlands was 20 percent higher than last year and 5 percent above the long-term average. Wetland numbers can vary greatly based on annual precipitation.

The survey is used to estimate the number of breeding ducks or breeding geese that nest in the state rather than simply migrate through. In addition to the counts by the DNR, the continental waterfowl population estimates will be released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service later this summer.

DNR survey methods
The same waterfowl survey has been done each year since 1968 to provide an annual index of breeding duck abundance. The survey covers 40 percent of Minnesota and includes much of the state’s best remaining duck breeding habitat.

A DNR waterfowl biologist and pilot count all waterfowl and wetlands along established survey routes by flying low-level aerial surveys from a fixed-wing plane. The survey is timed to begin in early May to coincide with peak nesting activity of mallards. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides ground crews who also count waterfowl along some of the same survey routes. These data are then used to correct for birds not seen by the aerial crew.

Canada geese
This year’s Canada goose population was estimated at 322,000 geese, higher than last year’s estimate of 202,000 geese and 9 percent above the long-term average.

“With the early spring and favorable habitat, Canada geese had a very good nesting year and there are lots of young goslings present across the state,” Cordts said.

The number of breeding Canada geese in the state is estimated via a helicopter survey of nesting Canada geese in April. The survey counts Canada geese on randomly selected plots located in prairie, transition and forested areas of the state and includes most of the state except for the Twin Cities area metro area.

The 2017 Minnesota waterfowl report is available at mndnr.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

Outdoors
  • Terra Bella Floral hours

    02/25/2018
    12:00AM

    Monday and Tuesday Noon to 5 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


  • The 100DayProject

    02/25/2018
    12:00AM — 12:00AM

    January 21 - April 30, 2018 The 100DayProject is an effort to motivate participants to commit ...


  • MOVE IT!

    02/25/2018
    12:00AM

    MOVE IT is about moving towards good health in lots of ways, including being physically active. ...


  • The CC Community Center outdoor ice rinks and warming house will be staffed and open for ice skat...


  • Home cooked BBQ meatballs and mashed potatoes served with chef's vegetable for $15.


  • Alcoholics Anonymous

    02/25/2018
    06:30PM — 07:30PM

    Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and ho...


  • Terra Bella Floral hours

    02/26/2018
    12:00AM

    Monday and Tuesday Noon to 5 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


  • The 100DayProject

    02/26/2018
    12:00AM — 12:00AM

    January 21 - April 30, 2018 The 100DayProject is an effort to motivate participants to commit ...


  • Come join us at Harbor House Grille, featuring chef prepared, handcrafted food. Today's specials ...


  • MOVE IT!

    02/26/2018
    12:00AM

    MOVE IT is about moving towards good health in lots of ways, including being physically active. ...


  • Band Instrument Drive

    02/26/2018
    08:00AM

    The Cook County School band is looking to expand our program and include all 5th graders. Current...


  • 1/2 Price Burgers!

    02/26/2018
    11:00AM — 09:00PM

    1/2 Price Burgers at Moguls Grille and Tap Room


  • Lunch at the Senior Center

    02/26/2018
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Spaghetti & Meatballs/Salad/Fruit/Milk


  • AUDITIONS for Shrek the Musical Jr.

    02/26/2018
    03:30PM — 05:00PM

    The Grand Marais Playhouse will hold auditions for Shrek, The Musical Jr on February 26 at 3:30 P...


  • Overeaters Anonymous

    02/26/2018
    04:15PM — 05:15PM

    Overeaters Anonymous is a fellowship of individuals who, through shared experience, strength and...


  • Braised Lamb at Papa Charlie's!

    02/26/2018
    05:00PM — 09:00PM

    One night only! Braised lamb served with mashed potatoes and chef's vegetable. $18.


  • Co-Dependents Anonymous

    02/26/2018
    05:30PM

    Co-Dependents Anonymous is a Fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop healt...


  • Beginning Swedish Language- 6 Sessions Instructor: Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux Mondays January 22nd-...


  • Snowmobilers! Ride Lutsen Trails With Us

    02/26/2018
    06:00PM — 10:00PM

    Join us to ride the trails with us. We meet at the snowmobile parking lot at 466 Caribou Trail [...


  • The 100DayProject

    03/01/2018
    12:00AM — 12:00AM

    January 21 - April 30, 2018 The 100DayProject is an effort to motivate participants to commit ...


  • Terra Bella Floral hours

    03/01/2018
    12:00AM

    Monday and Tuesday Noon to 5 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


  • Join us at Harbor House Grille, featuring Chef prepared handcrafted meals. Today's specials inclu...


  • MOVE IT!

    03/01/2018
    12:00AM

    MOVE IT is about moving towards good health in lots of ways, including being physically active. ...


  • Free tax help for low to moderate income folks in Cook County! Bring your tax information with ...


  • Lunch At the Senior Center

    03/01/2018
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Ham/Sweet Potato/Scallop Potato/Green Beans/Dessert/Milk


  • Child Car Seat Safety Check

    03/01/2018
    12:00PM — 02:00PM

    Sawtooth Mountain Clinic and Grand Portage Health Services, along with the Grand Marais Fire Depa...


  • Pizza Night at Papa Charlie's

    03/01/2018
    03:00PM — 09:00PM

    Get a 16" cheese pizza for $15. Add toppings (pepperoni, sausage, canadian bacon, green peppers,...


  • Alcoholics Anonymous

    03/01/2018
    06:30PM

    Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and ho...


  • Winter Animal Tracking at North House

    03/01/2018
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    February and March are long months…cast off any cabin fever and join your friends and neighbors f...


  • Modern Western Square Dance

    03/01/2018
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    Where: 4H log building at Cook County Community Building When: Thursday nights from 7:30 to 9:00...


  • Dance Party with DJ Beavstar at Papa Charlie's!

    03/01/2018
    09:00PM — 12:30AM

    Hit the dance floor at Papa Charlie’s as DJ Beavstar lays down the beat and then builds a dance t...


  • The 100DayProject

    03/02/2018
    12:00AM — 12:00AM

    January 21 - April 30, 2018 The 100DayProject is an effort to motivate participants to commit ...


  • Terra Bella Floral hours

    03/02/2018
    12:00AM

    Monday and Tuesday Noon to 5 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


  • Come join us at Harbor House Grille, featuring chef prepared, handcrafted food. Today's specials ...


  • MOVE IT!

    03/02/2018
    12:00AM

    MOVE IT is about moving towards good health in lots of ways, including being physically active. ...


  • Employee Appreciation Day

    03/02/2018
    11:00AM — 10:00PM

    Give your employees a free beer at Voyageur Brewing Company on us! Employee Appreciation Day i...


  • Lunch At The Senior Center

    03/02/2018
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Meal In A Potato (Taco)/Re-fried Beans/Lettuce/Pudding/Milk


  • Friday Night Reels

    03/02/2018
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Friday nights from January 5 to March 9, the library is transformed into a Free-Admission movie t...


  • Timmy Haus at Papa Charlie's!

    03/02/2018
    09:00PM — 12:30AM

    Timmy Haus is a singer/songwriter and full-time professional musician from Northern Minnesota. Hi...


Lake Superior Ice Coverage Map. Click on map to enlarge. [GLERL Ice Concentration for Lake Superior]

Weather Alerts Provided by Willy Weather