Fall Flight Surveys (Duck Counts)
Each week during fall migration biologists from the Illinois Natural History Survey fly over the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers to count the number of waterfowl using the river habitat. These counts estimate the number of ducks and geese seen on the routes only, not the entire refuge. Survey numbers are used to describe general trends in the number of waterfowl resting and feeding on the refuge through the years. Survey results are used by managers, hunters and birdwatchers to monitor the progress of migration. Biologists use the number as a tool to assess waterfowl use (often referred to as carrying capacity) in response to management actions. Waterfowl use is influenced by off-Refuge factors such as continental populations and habitat and weather conditions throughout the flyway. On the refuge, food availability and the extent of human disturbance greatly influence the number of birds present.
To view weekly waterfowl numbers from the Illinois Natural History Survey visit http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/waterfowl/surveys/Pages/MRAerialSurveys.aspx. The labels in the survey that relate to the refuge are Swan Lake, Gilbert Lake, and Batchtown Refuge.
*Please note that we do not control the content or policies of eBird or Google, which you may visit when accessing parts of the tables above. You should always check site policies before providing any personal information or reusing content.
eBird is created and maintained by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in partnership with National Audubon to gather information on bird sightings. Anyone can contribute bird sightings to eBird and sightings from the refuge will appear here within 15 minutes. It also enables you to find out which birds are being reported and where. These observation records become part of an online checklist program that scientists and birders with internet access can use to review bird observation information from specific locations across North America, including many National Wildlife Refuges.