Important Notice:

Flyways.us 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.

Flyways Info Migrates to New Location

USFWS Migratory Birds Program website Home page

After more than a decade of serving as the central hub of information on waterfowl hunting management in North America, Flyways.us will be shutting down on January 2, 2019. However, you will still be able to access the same types of information on waterfowl surveys, regulations, duck identification, banding, and harvest reports on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Program website.


Hunter Activity and Harvest Report for 2016-17 and 2017-18 Seasons Released

Hunter setting decoys. Credit: Milton Friend/USFWS

The latest Migratory Bird Hunting Activity and Harvest Report has been released, reporting that 11.6 million ducks were harvested in the United States in the 2016-17 hunting season, increasing to 12.1 million ducks harvested in the 2017-18 season. The number of harvested geese was about 3.2 million nationally in 2016-17, increasing just slightly to 3.6 million geese in 2017-18.

In addition to reading the full report, you can also generate custom harvest trends reports to quickly and easily view the information that is important to you. With these custom reports, you can view harvest trends for a specific species in a specific state; or you can view results for all ducks or all geese on a national level or within a selected flyway; or you can see the total of all ducks and geese at the national level. Results from these custom reports are presented in line graph format to easily illustrate harvest trends from 1961 through 2015. To view harvest activity reports for previous years, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Management website.

Get the Harvest Report

Run a Custom Harvest Trends Report

2018 Status of Waterfowl Report Now Available

A pair of shovelers. Credit: Michelle Chupik

2018 duck population and pond estimates from the annual Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey are now available. The estimate of 41.2 million breeding ducks was lower than last year’s estimate of 47.3 million, but 17% higher than the long-term average. The total pond estimate was 5.2 million, which was 14% below last year’s estimate of 6.1 million and similar to the long-term average of 5.2 million. Habitat conditions were similar to or declined relative to 2017. Much of the Canadian Prairies experienced average fall and winter precipitation and below-average spring precipitation. The U.S. prairies experienced average to above-average precipitation, but had more variable conditions compared to prairie Canada. Habitat conditions generally declined northward, particularly near the Montana-North Dakota border with Canada.

Get the report

Celebrate 100 Years of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

image of Migratory Birds Treaty Act 100th Anniversary LogoAugust 16, 2016 is a day worthy of celebration among waterfowlers, as it marks the 100th anniversary of the U.S. signing of the first Migratory Bird Treaty with Great Britain (for Canada). The culmination of an unprecedented movement to protect wildlife wherever it lived, including across international borders, the Treaty set the stage for a century of bird conservation. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is allowing everyone to join in the celebration all week with a series of events and through social media.

Learn how you can join in the celebration

Banding Crews Encounter Wet and Muddy Conditions in Western Canada

image of USFWS banding crew in Cochin, SaskatchewanMark Koneff, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Division Chief of Migratory Bird Surveys is in Saskatchewan, Canada with several other pilot biologists you'll recognize from their contributions to our flight logs to band ducks for the annual waterfowl banding project. Banding ducks is part of the effort to continue gathering knowledge for better management of waterfowl, providing information on population estimates, migration patterns, life span, survivability, productivity, and disease prevalence. The Division of Migratory Bird Management undertakes a number of surveys in conjunction with the USFWS Regional Offices, the Canadian Wildlife Service, and State and Provincial wildlife-management agencies. Mark recently took a moment to report in on the conditions the banding crews are observing.

Using the Bands Across America search tools found on this site, you can query and map waterfowl banding data as recent as this past spring all the way back to 1914.

Your search of nearly 3.8 million banding records can be narrowed or expanded using multiple criteria to easily see banding and recovery locations. All results are plotted on a scalable map, offering critical information for waterfowl biologists monitoring populations across the continent.

Search the Map

Read Mark Koneff's field report

2016 Status of Waterfowl Report - Now Available

Green-winged teal. Credit: David Wong, Flickr.

2016 duck population and pond estimates from the annual Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey are now available. The estimate of 48.4 million breeding ducks was similar to last year’s estimate of 49.5 million, and 38% above the long-term average. The total pond estimate was 5 million, which was 21% below last year’s estimate of 6.3 million and similar to the long-term average of 5.2 million. Despite an early spring over most of the survey area, habitat conditions were poorer than last year because of below-average precipitation and subsequent drying of wetlands. Most prairie and parkland regions were at best fair for waterfowl production.

View Habitat Conditions Map

Download Status Report

"Here We Go Again!"... 2016 Breeding Population and Habitat Survey Gets Off the Ground

Veteran pilot biologist Jim Bredy and his observer Joe Sands enthusiastically launched the 2016 Breeding Population and Habitat Survey on May 3rd, taking to the skies of southern Alberta, Canada. Pilots and ground crews in ten other survey areas across Canada and the northern United States will follow suit in the days ahead, and as always you can get the inside scoop on what they are seeing every day as they post their observations, photos and videos. Jim and Joe report very dry conditions on the first day of the survey, but the weeks ahead will reveal whether that is the norm or simply one in a wide range of conditions throughout the Prairie Potholes region. What they find will play an important role in setting regulations for the fall waterfowl hunting seasons.

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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.

2015 Status of Waterfowl Report Released

Ruddy duck pair photo, Credit: Dave Menke, USFWSFinal results from the 2015 Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey are now available. Preliminary reports are confirmed -- a total duck population estimate of 49.5 million birds in the traditional survey area, which is similar to last year's tally and holding steady at 43% above the long term average.

View Video Report

Download 2015 Report

2015 Trends in Breeding Duck Populations Report - Now Available

Teal brood. Credit: USFWS.

Preliminary 2015 duck population and pond estimates from the annual Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey are now available. The estimate of 49.5 million breeding ducks was similar to last year’s estimate of 49.2 million, and 43% above the long-term average. The total pond estimate was 6.3 million, which was 12% below last year’s estimate of 7.2 million and 21% above the long-term average of 5.2 million. Despite an early spring over most of the survey area, habitat conditions were similar to or poorer than last year. In many areas, the decline in habitat conditions was due to average to below-average annual precipitation, with the exception of portions of southern Saskatchewan and central latitudes of eastern Canada. Note: Estimates sometimes change between the preliminary numbers and final results.

View Pond Numbers

View Duck Numbers

View Habitat Conditions Map

Download Complete Trends Report

Download Trends Report Highlights Sheet

Spring Survey Takes Off for 60th Year

On May 5th, an aerial survey crew in the Eastern Dakotas had the honor of kicking off the 60th annual Breeding Population and Habitat Survey, flying initial transects between Winner and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. While the initial observations point to very dry wetland conditions and a scarcity of ducks in that region, it remains to be seen what pilots and and ground crews in the ten other survey areas across Canada and the northern United States will find. What is certain is that their daily reports will be full of fascinating insights and anecdotes, captivating imagery, and important clues as to what to expect as regulations are set in late summer for the fall hunting season.

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.

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