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Chesapeake Bay News

Feb
28
2012

Maryland’s wintering waterfowl population down slightly in 2012

The number of ducks, geese and swans wintering along Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic shorelines was down slightly in 2012 compared to 2011, according to scientists with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

canvasbacks flying over the water

(Image courtesy Dominic Sherony/Flickr)

Survey teams counted 633,700 waterfowl this winter, as compared to 651,800 during the same time in 2011.

An unusually mild winter in the Mid-Atlantic region likely contributed to the lower population. Scientists counted fewer Canada geese, but more diving ducks, particularly scaup. Canvasback totals were the second lowest level ever recorded; however, more birds of this species were observed arriving after the survey was finished.

Maryland survey results are ultimately pooled with results from other states to measure the population and distribution of waterfowl up and down the Atlantic Flyway, according to Larry Hindman, DNR’s waterfowl project leader.

Visit DNR’s website for more information about the waterfowl survey, including a complete list of species and survey population figures.


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