We’re Off and Running (Flying) in Southern Manitoba and Southeast Saskatchewan

Written by Rob Spangler
Thursday, May 03, 2012

Rob SpanglerAfter waiting out the weather for a few days, on April 30th I finally made it out of Denver and flew up to Brandon, Manitoba, to stage for this year’s survey. With the early spring, we were anxious to get started. Doug Benning will be accompanying me this year to help show me the ropes. After meeting Doug in Brandon, we spent a couple days troubleshooting computer issues, flying a known-width transect to calibrate our eyes, and testing our duck identification skills. Even though Doug is a retired pilot biologist, he is still bursting with energy and enthusiasm for this year’s survey. He had already driven over 200 miles identifying ducks and determining the progression of this year’s breeding chronology and had it summarized for me when I landed! Although it was an early Spring, we appeared to have timed the start of our survey perfectly.

The 2012 Southern Manitoba flight crew: Doug Benning (left) and Rob Spangler (right).

The 2012 Southern Manitoba flight crew: Doug Benning (left) and Rob Spangler (right). Photo by Rob Spangler, USFWS