Outdoors

Wet spring was dream for ducks


Pintails are judges' choice for 2008 federal Duck Stamp.Illustration by Joe Hautman
 (Illustration by Joe Hautman / The Spokesman-Review)
Pintails are judges' choice for 2008 federal Duck Stamp.Illustration by Joe Hautman (Illustration by Joe Hautman / The Spokesman-Review)

WATERFOWL HUNTING — Preliminary surveys indicate a wet spring is just ducky for waterfowl.

While the jury's still out on whether pheasants and other upland birds will produce many young after the wetness that smothered our region during nesting, ducks apparently prospered throughout much of North America. The notable exception is pintails.

Is you're retriever in shape? 

Here's a summary of the North America breeding ground population surveys by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

Mallard: totaled 10.6 million ducks, a 15 percent increase over last year and a 39 percent increase over the long-term average.

American wigeon: increased 3 percent from last year, but remains 17 percent below the long-term average.

Teal, Green-winged and blue-winged: numbered 3.5 million and 9.2 million, 20 percent and 3 percent respectively above last year. Both are well above the long-term averages by 74 percent and 94 percent.

Gadwall: increased 10 percent above last year’s estimate, and 96 percent above the long-term average.

Northern pintail: numbered 3.5 million, down 22 percent from last year’s estimate, and 14 percent below the long-term average.

More info: www.ducks.org




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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