‘Fierce Winter Storm’ Drives ‘Mass Exodus’ of Ducks from Canada

Duck in flight over snow in winter. bird

Ducks Unlimited is reporting that this year’s waterfowl migration is in full force, due freezing temperatures, heavy snow, and high winds, in Canada’s prairie region.

“Frigid temperatures and snowfall are in the forecast across northern portions of the Central and Mississippi Flyways, prompting a mass exodus of waterfowl from Prairie Canada and portions of the Dakotas,” writes Ducks Unlimited. “A migration that began as a trickle and has recently picked up at a slow and steady pace may soon be forced into overdrive by the fierce winter storm.”

Bitter cold temperatures arrived in an around Saskatoon with nighttime lows settling in the single digits. The extended forecast is for temperatures to remain in the teens or below which will result in most water bodies freezing, forcing waterfowl who summer in the Canadian prairies and northward to migrate south.

“This weather system pushing south will certainly trigger additional migratory movements,” says Dr. Mike Brasher, DU senior waterfowl scientist. “As we look at the snowfall and temperatures across the Great Plains, Upper Midwest, and even into the mid-latitude portions of the Central and Mississippi Flyways, this timely cold front is something duck and goose hunters should be paying attention to.”


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