The Globe and Mail, Canada's largest-circulation national newspaper, recently spent some time with the air and ground crews that are conducting the Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey and have given their story a wider audience in the May 19th edition of the newspaper. The full story includes an insightful article and photos as well as an accompanying video that captures the daily efforts of the crew members who you'll recognize from the flight logs they file on this very website.
Have you ever wondered what it sounds like in the cockpit with a pilot biologist--how they count all those ducks? Take a listen to the audio clip to the right! This clip is a short, edited excerpt from a survey run this spring. Like all pilot biologists and their observers, as Jim Bredy is flying his survey transect, he is recording a narrative of all the waterfowl he sees. Sometimes, as you'll hear, it's pretty difficult to keep up with the ducks!
May waterfowl survey begins. Photo by
Murray Gillespie (Ducks Unlimited Canada).
Unlike last year's early start, pilot biologists found themselves anxiously waiting for conditions to warrant the start of the 2013 Breeding Population and Habitat Survey. While a few days later than planned many of the 12 air crews began taking to the air the first full week of May, and the associated ground crews have started their field work. Check out the Pilot Biologist Reports for daily reports and images of what they are observing across Canada and the northern U.S. See what the air crews see as they fly fixed-wing aircraft at low altitude (150 ft) over transect lines through waterfowl habitat areas. Over 55,000 miles of transects are flown every year. That’s like counting ducks in a single line over two times around the world!
A cooperative effort of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Canadian Wildlife Service, and state, provincial, and tribal agencies, this survey currently covers more than 2.1 million square miles of the northern United States and Canada, and includes most of the primary duck nesting areas in North America.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Division of Migratory Birds is responsible for the protection, restoration, and management of more than a thousand different migratory bird species worldwide. This newly-produced high-definition video gives a brief overview of some of the ways the Division accomplishes this objective.
The Fall Inventory of Mid-Continent White-Fronted Geese was conducted throughout the Canadian prairie in late September and early October and the results are now available. This year's survey yielded 778,000 white-fronted geese in Alberta and Saskatchewan, a 12 percent increase from the previous year. Good wetland conditions prevailed through most of the survey area.