The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released both its pond counts and breeding duck index and the results are incredible. Check out the chart below courtesy of the good folks at Delta Waterfowl who have given us some great analysis with their press release on the subject. Click here to read.
Species important to Texans are up in big fashion with bluewings at a record high. Their count of 8.9 million was up a whopping 41 percent from last year and is 91 percent above the long-term average. Gadwall are up nine percent form last year at 3.2 million, which is 80 percent above the long-term. Pintails are up 26 percent at 4.4 million and that puts them 10 percent above the long-term. Shovelers are at a record high of 4.64 million. Mallards are up nine percent at just over 9 million while redheads are at a record high of 1.3 million. Scaup and canvasbacks, both species of concern, are up two and 19 percent respectively.
Of the 10 major species only wigeon (-14 percent) and green-winged teal are down 17 percent. Wigeon have been on the watch list for some time now and are 20 percent below the long-term. Greenwings are still doing great with nearly 3 million birds at 27 percent above average.
There is much more to this story and we will cover that extensively in forthcoming blogs and stories in the fall editions of TF&G. For now enjoy the good news.