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.
For the second time, artwork by Robert Steiner of San Francisco, California was selected as the winner of the Federal Duck Stamp contest - the only juried art competition sponsored by the federal government. Steiner previously won the contest in 1998, with his acrylic rendering of a Common Goldeneye taking the latest prize on September 29, 2012 during the contest proceedings at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. The 2013-2014 Federal Duck Stamp, featuring the winning art, will go on sale in late June 2013. Runners-up were Paul Bridgeford of Des Moines, Iowa (2nd place) and Gerald Mobley of Claremore, Oklahoma (3rd place) both with acrylic paintings of a Northern Shoveler pair. Hunters and wildlife enthusiasts are encouraged to purchase a Duck Stamp, as proceeds are used to purchase key waterfowl habitat areas in the National Wildlife Refuge System. The stamp sells for $15 and raises about $25 million each year.