[CT Birds] DEEP Midwinter Waterfowl Survey

Arthur Shippee ashippee at snet.net
Wed Jan 22 15:54:12 EST 2014

My first thought also was, were they making use of local birders?

Then again, it seems they have an established protocol, and this way they can compare numbers across years better without having to factor in changes of personnel.  

So … how could local birders help?  It sounds as if the major areas for ducks are covered, but perhaps other lakes or areas could be targeted?  Integrating others into their method may be harder than it seems.

On Jan 22, 2014, at 3:36 PM, Timothy L Thompson <tthompso at gdeb.com> wrote:

> 1/22/14 - New London Day Newspaper Article- page C2   I quote: "The 
> state's annual midwinter waterfowl survey on Jan. 8 and 9 showed high 
> numbers of ducks, scaup and Canada geese, while Atlantic brant numbers 
> were lower than previous years.  The survey, conducted by state Department 
> of Energy and Environmental staff on the Atlantic Flyway, is used as an 
> index of long-term wintering waterfowl trends.  In Connecticut, the survey 
> is conducted from a helicopter and a census is obtained from the coast, 
> the three major river systems, and selected inland lakes and reservoirs. 
> Weather conditions for the survey were excellent, DEEP said Friday in a 
> news release.  Large blocks of ice were present in all three of the major 
> rivers - the Thames, Connecticut and Housatonic - most inland water bodies 
> were frozen, and many coastal marshes were icebound.  The midwinter survey 
> is designed to index wintering waterfowl that have been pushed to the 
> coast when inland waters freeze.  The total number of ducks observed 
> during the survey was 19,375, which is higher than both the five year and 
> 10-year averages.  The puddle duck count of 10,141 was twice the recent 
> five-year average of 4,734 and well above the 10-year average of 3,700." 
> End quote.
> Seems to me, there is some encouraging news in there somewhere.  With all 
> the electronic social media including eBird, you would think citizen 
> science could assist with the DEEP's efforts.
> Timothy L. Thompson
> Norwich, Ct.
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