Though weather conditions gave Wisconsin subpar wetland conditions, that didn’t put a dent into the state’s 2021 waterfowl population. State spring surveys showed increases in breeding waterfowl, like wood ducks, blue-winged teal and Canadian geese. One popular species that had a slight dip in population were mallard numbers. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Migratory Game Bird Biologist Taylor Finger says waterfowl species numbers in northeast Wisconsin are typically stable.
Finger didn’t find himself surprised that even with dry conditions several species numbers grew. He says with the dry conditions you can actually see the birds better. Finger says it’s a bit early to tell how the hunting season will be yet, but they start banding operations soon and should have a better idea of what to expect then.
The DNR estimates that the breeding duck population in the state for 2021 is over 522,000 birds, which is a seven percent increase from last year. You can find full survey results with this link.