The 2011 Breeding Population and Habitat Survey is Underway!

May Waterfowl survey begins. Photo by Murray Gillespie (Ducks Unlimited Canada).

May Waterfowl survey begins. Photo by Murray Gillespie (Ducks Unlimited Canada).

The first week of May marked the beginning of the 2011 Breeding Population and Habitat Survey, as the first of 12 air crews took to the skies and associated ground crews began their field work. For a first hand account, check out the Pilot Biologist Reports where some great stories and pictures are already flooding in from around Canada and the northern U.S. This is your entree to 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.

Waterfowl Survey team assembles prior to the 2011 season: Front row:  Sheldon Mixon, Phil Thorpe, Jim Wortham, Mark Koneff. Middle row:  Rob Spangler, Jim Bredy, Thom Lewis. Back row:  Steve Earsom, Fred Roetker, Terry Liddick, Walt Rhodes

Waterfowl Survey team assembles prior to the 2011 season: Front row: Sheldon Mixon, Phil Thorpe, Jim Wortham, Mark Koneff. Middle row: Rob Spangler, Jim Bredy, Thom Lewis. Back row: Steve Earsom, Fred Roetker, Terry Liddick, Walt Rhodes Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service