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‘Quite staggering’ teal counts on Illinois River: Mississippi good, too, as Aaron Yetter’s blog restarts

Aaron Yetter’s blog restarts off the teal survey done on Wednesday that showed lots of teal around the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.

Some of the blue-winged teal surveyed Wednesday. Credit: Aaron Yetter/Illinois Natural History Survey
Some of the blue-winged teal surveyed Wednesday.
Credit: Aaron Yetter/Illinois Natural History Survey

Aaron Yetter restarts his blog with a very encouraging aerial survey for teal, just days before teal season opens on Saturday, Sept. 5, in Illinois.

Click here for the listings of aerial surveys. Keep up with research updates and aerial surveys at the Forbes Biological Station Facebook page.

Here is Yetter’s latest blog:

September 3rd, 2020 – Aerial Waterfowl Inventory Blog

We’re back in the air again. Actually, we’ve been at it for a month now counting shorebirds, but we completed the 1st teal flight of the year on Wednesday, September 2nd. There was an abundance of blue-winged teal (Spatula discors) along both rivers for the first week of September. We estimated 45,240 blue-wings along the Illinois River Valley (IRV), coming in at 139% above the 10-yr average. The central Mississippi River also had good numbers of blue-wings totaling 9,910 birds, 127% above average for the first week of September. Blue-wing numbers in the IRV were actually quite staggering. The 45,000+ birds witnessed this week was the 9th highest total in 72 years of surveys and will be the 5th highest peak count of blue-winged teal since 1948. Hopefully we will enjoy a great opening day of teal season beginning Saturday, September 5th.

Be safe out there and enjoy the Labor Day weekend. For site specific information, please check out our webpageat www.bellrose.org. Stay tuned for more updates next week…….