ANNAPOLIS — Each winter,
aerial survey teams of pilots and
biologists from the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service and the Maryland
Department of Natural
Resources make visual estimates
of ducks, swans and
geese along Maryland’s Chesapeake
Bay shoreline and
This year the teams witnessed
more than 905,000 waterfowl, 22
percent higher than those
observed in January 2013
Biologists attribute the higher
count to the fact many species
flocked to Maryland’s portion of
the Chesapeake Bay due to
severe winter conditions to the
Additionally, large areas of the
bay and tributaries were ice covered
during the survey period,
concentrating waterfowl in icefree,
open waters where they
were more easily counted.
The survey estimates for mallards,
black ducks and canvasbacks
were the highest they
have been since the mid-1970s.
Overall, dabbling ducks were
more abundant this time around
(128,000) compared to last winter
There were nearly twice as
many diving ducks this survey
(190,300) over last year (98,100).
The canvasback count (68,400)
was the highest since the mid-
1960s, and far greater than the
January 2013 estimate (18,400).
Survey teams also observed
large numbers of wintering
Canada geese (512,100) along
the upper Chesapeake Bay.
The Midwinter Waterfowl Survey
has been conducted annually
throughout the United States
since the early 1950s.
The Maryland survey results
are ultimately pooled with those
of other states to provide a
measure of the distribution and
population size of waterfowl wintering
in the Atlantic Flyway, as
well as information on long-term
ANNAPOLIS — Each winter,
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