Moose, Bear, and Turkeys

Important Notice: will be shutting down on January 2, 2019. However, most of the content found here will now be available on the the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Program website.

Written by Nick Wirwa
Monday, May 18, 2015

Photo of Nick Wirwa.We have finished up Stratum 54 and 56 with good weather. These areas are our southernmost units, which cover north of the U.S. border from Lake Ontario across the St. Lawrence River Valley. It’s time to pack it up and head to northern latitudes. Conditions across our survey area have been highly variable in moisture and waterfowl numbers. Moisture conditions north of Lake Ontario seemed to be good; however, heading east through the St. Lawrence River Valley, moisture conditions seemed to decline. While some wetlands and streams seem to have plenty of water, many others appear low. My summary is based off of last year’s observations. I would estimate what I have observed to date is that conditions are an order of magnitude lower than last year. I made a half-way joking comment to Steve that in some areas of our survey I have counted more moose, bear, and especially turkeys than ducks on the line this year. Preliminary habitat conditions posted on May 15th by Ducks Unlimited has our next survey lines in better condition. I am hoping so. More to come.

In the latest update by Apple, a new camera feature was added to iPhones which I have found to be useful in depicting the habitat we cover and showing what would be a long, grueling video as a condensed, short clip. Enjoy!

Water landing. Video by Nick Wirwa, US FWS

Clip along a transect in Stratum 68. Video by Nick Wirwa, US FWS

Habitat Condition map reported by Ducks Unlimited.

Habitat Condition map reported by Ducks Unlimited. Map image from Ducks Unlimited