Whether you’re a duck hunter or a wildlife watcher, there’s great news this year about the ducks you’re likely to see. After a decade or so of drier weather on the northern United States and Canadian prairie waterfowl breeding grounds, three years of wetter conditions means more ducks this year. Dave Graber, Missouri Department of Conservation waterfowl biologist, reports a likely 41.2 million ducks in 2007—the highest number since 2000 and the fifth highest estimate since 1955.
Blue-winged teal and mallards are both up 14 percent over 2006 numbers. Shovelers, redheads and canvasbacks are all well up over the long-term average, but scaup and pintail, on the other hand, are lower than the long-term average.
Wetter conditions on breeding grounds, combined with conservation practices that enhance nesting habitat on farmlands in the United States and Canada, have helped ducks thrive. You can get more information on waterfowl from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.