INHS Aerial Inventory: Ducks are here

October 31, 2013 at 03:31 AM
Ducks are pouring into the Illinois River Valley at a rate almost three times the 10-year average according to the latest Aerial Waterfowl Inventory conducted by the Illinois Natural History Survey.

Waterfowl scientist Aaron Yetter counted 360,860 ducks at 23 sites on the Illinois River Oct. 23.The 10-year average is 134,962.

The Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge and The Emiquon and Spoon River Bottoms area accounted for nearly 150,000 ducks.

Northern pintails were the most numerous species with 108,675 individuals counted.

Sixteen sites on the Mississippi River held 131,980 ducks, below the Illinois River totals but still above the 10-year average for this time of year on the Mississippi.

To see the complete survey for both river systems, visit: