Ducks Unlimited Reports Good Habitat, Duck Numbers In California

CDFW photo

Things are looking solid for green-winged teal per a recent migration survey.

Here’s more from Ducks Unlimited:

Evidence of the fall migration of northern birds began to appear about 10 days ago, as green-winged teal – California’s most-harvested species – suddenly turned up on marshes where, just 24 hours before, there had been none. 

How teal can show up overnight, up and down the 500-mile-long Central Valley is anyone’s guess. “Greenwings suddenly appeared in the Sacramento Valley,” says field scout Bob Scruggs, who hunts rice ground near Dingville, south of Yuba City. Hunters in rice blinds below Delevan National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) echoed the same positive thoughts.

With about 450,000 acres of flooded, decomposing rice north of Sacramento, the table is set. Northern pintails tease hunters since there are so many aloft and the daily limit is just one bird. Thus, wigeon and teal are primary targets.

Michael D’Errico, supervisory biologist at Sacramento NWR, reports that there are plenty of birds, but they are often unavailable to hunters.

“With the late rice harvest and new water coming on almost daily to decompose the straw, the birds find it,” he says. “The anticipated migration is here. Last week the teal showed up in droves.”