Tongue-tied

Written by Jim Bredy
Sunday, May 11, 2014

Photo of Jim Bredy.

After some unexpected winter-type weather delayed our survey start, Joe Sands and I finally got under way on May 08. We were greeted with variable habitat conditions in the short-grass prairie area to the south and east of Lethbridge, Alberta, over to the Saskatchewan border. Although there are some very good pond numbers, and upland habitat conditions, there are also some conditions that are fair to poor. These conditions mesh with the precipitation maps for the fall and winter period, where this area in the south did not have as good precipitation as the areas further to the north and west. In the good areas, we sometimes get a bit “tongue-tied” as we try to count the ducks (listen to the audio file to the left of one of our areas on the Milk River Ridge area, due south of Lethbridge, Alberta, and near the Montana border. You'll hear us really “get into” them!) We will report more as we work our way further north. Currently, we are in the Calgary, Alberta, area, and hope to be in Edmonton by the end of this week; and the Grande Prairie, Alberta, area by the middle of next week. We hope you are enjoying your spring, just as we are up here counting ducks and geese!

Good to excellent pond numbers and poor to fair upland habitat conditions, in the agriculture belt southeast of Lethbridge, Alberta; southwest of Medicine Hat, and near the Montana border.

Good to excellent pond numbers and poor to fair upland habitat conditions, in the agriculture belt southeast of Lethbridge, Alberta; southwest of Medicine Hat, and near the Montana border. Credit: Jim Bredy, USFWS.

Good to excellent pond numbers and good upland habitat conditions in the Cypress Hills area, south of Medicine Hat, Alberta, near the Saskatchewan border.

Good to excellent pond numbers and good upland habitat conditions in the Cypress Hills area, south of Medicine Hat, Alberta, near the Saskatchewan border. Credit: Jim Bredy, USFWS.

Poor to fair pond numbers and upland habitat conditions in the Short-Grass Prairie area SE of Medicine Hat, Alberta, near the Saskatchewan border.

Poor to fair pond numbers and upland habitat conditions in the Short-Grass Prairie area SE of Medicine Hat, Alberta, near the Saskatchewan border. Credit: Jim Bredy, USFWS.