Western Ontario survey begins

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Written by Jim Wortham
Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Jim Wortham.My observer Scott Boomer and I departed Maryland en route to Canada on May 9th in a Soloy-converted Cessna 206 amphibian. We began survey flights online the very next day. It was immediately clear that spring came early in western Ontario and all marshes and waterbodies were ice free. The weather has been uncharacteristically cooperative so far and progress has been swift through this stratum.

As opposed to the prairie strata within the Waterfowl Breeding Pair Population and Habitat Survey, the western Ontario stratum is considered a northern boreal area in which a slightly different Standard Operating procedure applies. Generally, daily surveys begin later in the morning and can continue as long as adequate daylight allows. These additional available survey hours help survey crews avoid shadows associated with the tall spruce forests and also take advantage of the daylight afforded by the longer days in these more northerly areas.

Western Ontario and Northern Quebec Crew, Jim Wortham and Scott Boomer. (Credit:  Samantha Gibbs, USFWS.)

Western Ontario and Northern Quebec Crew, Jim Wortham and Scott Boomer. Credit: Samantha Gibbs, USFWS.

Morning departure for Surveys. (Credit:  Samantha Gibbs, USFWS.)

Morning departure for Surveys. Credit: Samantha Gibbs, USFWS.