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Maryland Department of Natural Resources Announces Midwinter Waterfowl Survey 2023 Results

In early January, aerial survey teams of pilots and biologists from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) made visual estimates of the ducks, geese, and swans along most of the state’s Chesapeake Bay, Potomac River, and Atlantic coast shorelines. This year, the teams counted about 632,200 waterfowl, which was higher than the 563,800 birds observed in 2022 but lower than the most recent five-year average of 682,520 birds. “The distribution and abundance of wintering waterfowl is influenced not only by the annual changes in population size, but also the weather conditions during migration and throughout the winter,” said Wildlife and Heritage Director Paul Peditto. “The surveys our staff conduct provide a snapshot of where waterfowl are located in the state and are combined with data from other states in the flyway to track the status of several important waterfowl species.” Overall, dabbling ducks were similar (93,600) to 2022 (97,600). While the number of pintails counted in the survey dropped slightly (3,300 in 2023 and 4,600 in 2022), mallards (56,800) and black ducks (21,800) remained similar to their respective 5-year averages (53,920, and 24,580). Despite the generally mild winter, a mid-December cold snap across the country likely led to more […]

The post Maryland Department of Natural Resources Announces Midwinter Waterfowl Survey 2023 Results appeared first on Southern Maryland News Net.

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