Waterfowlers have the opportunity to view some amazing artwork at the 2016 Federal Duck Stamp Contest event that will be held at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, September 9th and 10th. The event is fully open to the public, including free general admission to the Natural Sciences museum, and will culminate on the 10th in a panel of five judges selecting the artwork that will be featured on this year's Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (also known as the "Duck Stamp"). The stamp has generated more than $900 million to help protect and conserve over six million acres of wetland, bottomland, and grassland habitat for waterfowl and other birds and wildlife. You can learn much more about the stamp and contest event on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website or by connecting with the Friends of the Migratory Bird/Duck Stamp, an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion, preservation, sales, and better understanding of the Duck Stamp.
August 16, 2016 is a day worthy of celebration among waterfowlers, as it marks the 100th anniversary of the U.S. signing of the first Migratory Bird Treaty with Great Britain (for Canada). The culmination of an unprecedented movement to protect wildlife wherever it lived, including across international borders, the Treaty set the stage for a century of bird conservation. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is allowing everyone to join in the celebration all week with a series of events and through social media.
Mark Koneff, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Division Chief of Migratory Bird Surveys is in Saskatchewan, Canada with several other pilot biologists you'll recognize from their contributions to our flight logs to band ducks for the annual waterfowl banding project. Banding ducks is part of the effort to continue gathering knowledge for better management of waterfowl, providing information on population estimates, migration patterns, life span, survivability, productivity, and disease prevalence. The Division of Migratory Bird Management undertakes a number of surveys in conjunction with the USFWS Regional Offices, the Canadian Wildlife Service, and State and Provincial wildlife-management agencies. Mark recently took a moment to report in on the conditions the banding crews are observing.
Using the Bands Across America search tools found on this site, you can query and map waterfowl banding data as recent as this past spring all the way back to 1914.
Your search of nearly 3.8 million banding records can be narrowed or expanded using multiple criteria to easily see banding and recovery locations. All results are plotted on a scalable map, offering critical information for waterfowl biologists monitoring populations across the continent.
2016 duck population and pond estimates from the annual Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey are now available. The estimate of 48.4 million breeding ducks was similar to last year’s estimate of 49.5 million, and 38% above the long-term average. The total pond estimate was 5 million, which was 21% below last year’s estimate of 6.3 million and similar to the long-term average of 5.2 million. Despite an early spring over most of the survey area, habitat conditions were poorer than last year because of below-average precipitation and subsequent drying of wetlands. Most prairie and parkland regions were at best fair for waterfowl production.