Wildlife biologists counted 5,252 ducks and 6,262 Canada geese during the annual mid-winter waterfowl survey in early January according to Steve Wilson, Waterfowl Biologist for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Section.
“The number of ducks and geese counted this year increased 73 percent and 44 percent respectively compared to last year, and both are well above the 10-year average,” Wilson said. The increase was not unexpected due to weather fronts moving through from the northwest in December.
Canada geese, mallards and black ducks, as usual, were the most commonly observed species in the 2013 survey. Other waterfowl observed include: canvasback, scaup, ring-necked duck, redhead, bufflehead, wood duck, gadwall, mergansers and tundra swans. Nine adult and five juvenile bald eagles were also observed.
The survey was conducted on January 7, 8, and 10, 2013, and included portions of the Kanawha, Ohio, Shenandoah and New Rivers as well as Tygart and Bluestone Lakes.