Migrating Ducks and Geese

In spite of persistent wintery conditions, ducks and geese have started to migrate.

Rob Ripma

For me, the start of waterfowl migration is a great indicator that spring is just around the corner. When the ducks and geese arrive, I know it won’t be long before the warblers and other songbirds follow.

Here in central Indiana, the arrival of the ducks and geese coincides with all of the frozen lakes and reservoirs beginning to thaw. One of the best parts of viewing waterfowl during this time of year is that all of the birds are concentrated in the small slivers of open water making it very easy to see a wide variety of species from one spot. One of our local reservoirs, Eagle Creek, just opened up and immediately experienced a surge in the number of ducks and geese that were using the area. In just 30 minutes, and without my scope since I had sent it in to be repaired, I found 11 species!

This male Mallard is one of the many species of ducks and geese that I found.

This male Mallard is one of the many species of ducks and geese that I found.

Greater Scaup are uncommon inland but with the Great Lakes almost completely frozen over, many have been reported on inland open water areas.

Greater Scaup are uncommon inland but with the Great Lakes almost completely frozen over, many have been reported on inland open water areas.

Have you been out looking for waterfowl in your area recently? If so, what species have you seen?

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