Archive for January 8th, 2010

Mid-winter Waterfowl Survey, 2

Friday, January 8th, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

To hunt ducks, you need to know where to find them.

People know where ducks typically are—along the coastal zone, maybe in the playa lake region of the Panhandle—but oftentimes they don’t think about these other places.

And those other places might surprise you, says Dave Morrison, waterfowl program leader at Parks and Wildlife.

Had we not been surveying places like the Blackland Prairies and Rolling Plains, people wouldn’t understand that there’s a large number of ducks in Texas on the stock tanks out in the central part of Texas. Sometimes we’ll see upwards of 800-thousand birds there. Those numbers actually, a lot of times, rival the numbers of ducks we count on the coast.

Biologists are presently conducting the annual mid-winter waterfowl survey, where they visually count and ID birds throughout the entire state, in a small plane 150 feet overhead. It helps them understand the birds’ movement, which they discovered is weather dependent.

You get conditions that are dry on the coast, but you get a hurricane that pushes a lot of water up on that brush country, puts a lot of water—guess what—a lot of ducks show up there….that otherwise people wouldn’t know they’re there. They say, well, the ducks aren’t here. Well, yeah they are. They just moved. Habitat conditions forced them into other areas. So, it gives us the ability to better understand where do birds go under different circumstances.

That’s our show…we receive support from the Wildlife restoration program…working to increase shooting and hunting in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.