West Virginia – -(AmmoLand.com)- Wildlife biologists counted 2,033 ducks and 3,275 geese during the annual mid-winter waterfowl survey in early January, according to Steve Wilson, Waterfowl Biologist for the Wildlife Resources Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.
“Duck numbers were up and goose numbers were down compared to last year, but were similar to recent years,” Wilson said. “The real value of this survey is the long term trend over broad areas, so it is important that we do not try to read too much into these numbers.” West Virginia’s data will be combined with other states’ data to produce regional and continental trend data. Waterfowl are very mobile and weather strongly influences their movements. The highest counts occur in West Virginia when everything north of the state is frozen and snow covered and there is enough snow and ice here to force birds to congregate on the larger lakes and rivers. These ideal conditions occurred in 2001 in West Virginia when more than 20,000 ducks and 10,000 geese were observed during the mid-winter survey.
Canada geese, mallards and black ducks were, as always, the most commonly observed species in the 2009 survey. Other species observed include: canvasback, redhead, pintail, gadwall, mergansers, bufflehead, and ruddy ducks. Several bald and golden eagles were also observed.
The survey was conducted on January 9, 14, and 15, 2009, and included the Kanawha, Ohio, Potomac and Shenandoah rivers as well as Tygart and Bluestone lakes.