Duck Hunting photo

Photo courtesy of USFWS Mountain-Prairie/Flickr

Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued a report concluding that North America’s duck populations remain robust, echoing last year’s findings, with an estimated 49.5 million breeding ducks in the surveyed locations. This number indicates an approximate increase of 300,000 breeding ducks from last year and marks a more than 50 percent resurgence in waterfowl since 1955, according to Ducks Unlimited. The findings surmise mallards comprise 11.6 million, blue-winged teal 8.5 million, and gadwall 3.8 million of the total sum.

“Though conditions were dry in some important habitats, we had large numbers of birds returning this spring and good conditions in the boreal forest and other areas of Canada,” DU CEO Dale Hall says. “It looks like some typical prairie nesters skipped over the U.S. prairies and took advantage of good conditions farther north.”