My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Waterfowl Survey

Today I participated in the NYS DEC / NYSOA  annual waterfowl survey. Each January a quarter of a million ducks are counted across New York State by bird clubs, state officials and your average birder. While out looking for ducks, we also participated in the National Winter Bald Eagle Survey that is conducted at the same time each year. The results of these two surveys will help determine the long-term monitoring of waterfowl and Eagle populations within New York State during the winter months.

Swamp Road

Today was our target date for the waterfowl survey and the weather man wasn’t predicting the best of weather. There were predictions of freezing rain and lucky the whole morning the temps stayed above 36° F. But, we did have continued rain the whole day which made visibility extremely tough (and not great photos). I felt that the Eagles and Ducks were tucked in very tightly which resulted in our need to work harder in finding great birds.



Bald Eagle



Canada Goose






Black Duck



Common Merganser



Hooded Merganser






Common Goldeneye



Long-tailed Duck






We had a total of 29 species observed (except Tim & Mike who heard a Titmouse which I missed because I was a little behind arriving). Highlights included the Northern Shrike (see photo below), Common Raven (displaying), American Coot, Long-tailed Duck and Common Goldeneye.

Northern Shrike

I am off to bed after this long day making me totally exhausted.

4 responses

  1. This is cool! Where did you do your survey? I wish the NYSOA website would bring the surveys up to date so I could see the most recent trends for the state!

    15 January 2007 at 8:52 am

  2. That’s a nice view of the shrike. I’ve only seen two of them and both times I barely got my bins on them before they took off. I’d love to get a good long look at one!

    15 January 2007 at 10:25 am

  3. Our section was along the Allegheny River (hmm must have edited that out, did have it when typing this). DEC Biologist are the ones who oversee the data and if I remember right, they were always the ones who presented the papers on this survey! I did a quick search of their website and didn’t come up with anything, sorry!
    Lynne – this one did let us have a good look but kept flying further away making it harder and harder to get a picture! Then again the rain didn’t help any!! Congrats on seeing such a wonderful bird!

    15 January 2007 at 10:45 am

  4. I like reading your list and comparing it to what we see here in the pacific northwest, in winter. Many of the same birds, although no shrikes here. We did see our first red-breasted sapsucker yesterday. Hard to miss with that flaming red head!

    15 January 2007 at 11:16 am

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