DNR looking for wintering black ducks for banding project

Kirk Starratt kstarratt@kingscountynews.ca
Published on February 18, 2014

Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist Glen Parsons said they’ve been trying to attract some black ducks at Miner Marsh as part of a banding project, but there seems to be more mallards around willing to take part. – Kirk Starratt, www.kingscountynews.ca

It seems the only ducks interested in participating in a banding project at Miner’s Marsh were mallards.

Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist Glen Parsons said they’ve been trying to attract black ducks to band as part of the Black Duck Joint Venture program with corn and live traps at the Ducks Unlimited site, but they haven’t had much success so far.

Parsons said the Department of Natural Resources is part of the banding project, going on at a variety of sites along the eastern seaboard. They are hoping members of the public might have location suggestions.

“We’re still looking for a site,” Parsons said. “There might be areas where people know about large numbers of black ducks wintering. I’d love to hear from them.”

Thousands of black ducks winter in Nova Scotia and they tend to concentrate in certain areas when it gets really cold, Parsons said.

He added that DNR doesn’t condone feeding wild animals in general, but they do use corn as bait to draw the black ducks to live traps, which don’t hurt the birds. Researchers attach a metal band to the legs of ducks that find their way into the traps and then release them. The bands allow researchers to track the birds.

Gren Jones of Ducks Unlimited said there is a project underway in the Windsor area studying the winter eating habits of black ducks. Students from Acadia University are working on the initiative with Dr. Mark Mallory.

Jones said he was at Hennigar Marsh in Sheffield Mills on Feb. 9 and “saw more ducks than eagles.” There was some open water and it was busy with a group of black ducks. Jones believes they “must be getting ready to pair up.”

If you would like to suggest a location where the Department of Natural Resources might find a concentration of black ducks to band, call the wildlife division at 679-6091.


About the Black Duck Joint Venture

First established in 1989, the Black Duck Joint Venture is a conservation partnership intended to stabilize and restore the American Black Duck population. Consisting of government and non-government agencies and organizations in Canada and the United States, it’s geographic scope includes the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland and Labrador and the 23 states in the Atlantic and Mississippi flyways.