Waterfowl count: Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge spots more than 53,000 ducks, 4,000 geese

Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge near the Kansas-Missouri border counted more than 53,000 ducks and 4,000 geese Oct. 31. (FILE PHOTO BY ANGELO SAGGIOMO/THE JUNEAU EMPIRE)

Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge in Forest City, Mo., observed more than 53,000 ducks and 4,000 geese during a waterfowl survey Oct. 31.


Snow geese and white-fronted geese made up the majority of the goose population, with only 460 Canada geese counted.

The 2,200-acre refuge counted 22,355 Northern pintail and 21,295 green-winged teal, up from 11,595 and 14,150 the previous week, respectively. The mallard duck count rose from 560 to 2,601 this week, with 2,790 gadwall and 1,251 Northern shovelers also spotted. The refuge also noted 2,750 ring-necked ducks in the count.

A total of 14 trumpeter swans were noted in the report. Only 78 wood ducks were spotted.

In Kansas, Milford Lake reported about 2,000 ducks were observed on the wetlands this week. Perry Reservoir had about 500 ducks as of Oct. 24 and Tuttle Creek had just 108 as of Oct. 26.

Nationally, mallard numbers are down 11 percent from last year but still up 34 percent over the long-term average dating back to 1955, according to Ducks Unlimited. Gadwall numbers are up 13 percent from last year, 111 percent over the long term, and Northern pintail are up 10 percent year over year but down 27 percent long term.

Pintails and scaup are the largest concern, with scaup down 12 percent this year and 13 percent long term.



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