Cold weather made Port Joli waterfowl survey a challenge

Greg Bennett
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The Nature Conservancy of Canada holds two waterfowl research surveys to assess health of populations. NCC photo

A clarification on the story about the Wild for Waterfowl Count for the Port Joli Important Bird Area on Nov. 24.  Initial impressions suggested the numbers of waterfowl were low.  However, after tallying all survey reports for the entire Important Bird Area, the totals for Canada Goose and American Black Duck are higher than in previous years.  Overall, there were fewer types of waterfowl observed, particularly diving ducks such as Harlequin Duck.  The cold, windy weather that day made surveying a challenge. 


 There were mixed results from a couple of blustery waterfowl survey and research events in the Maritimes on Sunday, Nov. 24.

 The Nature Conservancy of Canada had over 60 people participate in identifying and counting ducks in key wetland areas.

 The Nature Conservancy of Canada and Bird Studies Canada held their 5th annual Wild for Waterfowl event in Port Joli Harbour.  

 With temperatures around minus five and wind gusts to up to 50 kilometres per hour, it meant the birds were tucked away.  

  Teams split up in the national bird sanctuaries and recorded 2400 Canada geese and 400 black ducks along with hundreds of other birds.

 Those species included small numbers of hooded and breasted mergansers; buffleheads; eiders; harlequin ducks; horned grebes. 

 They also spotted two bald eagles, a great blue heron and one coyote.   

 This event is held to help measure the effectiveness of three bird sanctuaries and see which waterfowl try to remain in the area to try and handle our harsh winter climate and coastal winds.   

 All data collected by the Nature Conservancy of Canada with be shared with federal (Canadian Wildlife Service) and provincial agencies (Departments of Natural Resources) as information on wildlife populations.

 These were the last of 14 Conservation Volunteer events for 2013 by the Nature Conservancy of Canada in the Atlantic Region.  Nature Conservancy of Canada is a not for profit land conservation organization that has protected 63,000 of wetlands, forests and coastal shoreline areas in the four provinces, conserving habitat for at-risk species.

Organizations: Canadian Wildlife Service

Geographic location: Canada, Port Joli Harbour, Atlantic Region

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