Time Flies When You Are Having Fun!
Preparations are well underway for another spring of duck surveys in Canada. It is hard to believe my journey with the FWS Migratory Bird Survey group started almost a quarter of a century ago, in Southern Alberta. In that “short” time, I literally have flown over much of North America. I am glad that I still have the privilege of working this year in Alberta. It is a wildlife and water-fowler’s dream world, with a large variety of habitats, such as the short grass prairie to the south, transitioning to the aspen parklands, the boreal forest transition north of Edmonton, the “Slave” Region and the “Peace” country. Some of the most spectacular Rocky Mountain scenery greets us in the southwest, with the mountains at the edge of our waterfowl survey transects. It is as if God cut off the top 5,000 feet of these majestic mountains, and set them there for us to enjoy as we are counting ducks. If you haven’t guessed it by now, Alberta is one of my favorite places on earth!
I am writing this from a hotel on the TX Coast. I am flying some of the last fall-spring waterfowl surveys of the season on the gulf coastal National Wildlife Refuges. Many of the waterfowl have already left, heading home. I most likely will see some of them again in a little over a month in Alberta. With last year’s good duck hatch, and a lower than expected fall/winter harvest, we are expecting a lot of birds to return north. According to Canada Drought Watch, the winter was drier than normal for much of Prairie Canada. Therefore, unless the area receives significant spring precipitation, there will most likely be fewer ponds in the prairies than last year.
After a quarter of a century, I still love what I do as my “job.” I enjoy returning something back to the natural resources I love so dearly. It is still “fun.” Time sure does fly by, when you are having fun!