November 19th aerial survey

ducks on the water

Wind and weather prevented us from flying the waterfowl survey during the week of November 16th. This was unfortunate because we usually get a big movement of mallards into both the Illinois and Mississippi rivers during mid-November. I think there was a small migration of waterfowl into central Illinois this week based on hunter reports, but we won’t know for sure until I can get in the airplane again.

Speaking of mallards… they are the number one duck in Illinois’ harvest year after year. In falls 2009 and 2010, we placed radio transmitters on 142 drakes and hens near Havana, IL and followed them daily throughout La Grange Pool of the Illinois River. The average daily movement was 2.4 miles/day and did not vary between years or sexes. Radio-marked mallards distributed themselves throughout the study area from Banner Marsh State Fish and Wildlife Area (SFWA) near Glasford, IL, to Sanganois SFWA near Chandlerville, IL; a distance of approximately 43 miles. Keep this in mind when you are looking at the distribution of birds on the waterfowl survey sheets.

Be safe and happy hunting! Stay tuned for more updates next week…