Waterfowl Surveys

Swans, Staff, Shovler

Every fall, millions of ducks and geese migrate south to warmer regions for food and habitat. On that long journey they need places to rest and eat. One of those places is Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge.

The Refuge manages approximately 214 acres of waterfowl impoundments. These impoundments provide the necessary food and habitat waterfowl need while migrating. Some of these impoundments are open to a draw hunt two days a week during Kentucky’s state waterfowl hunting season, while others serve the purpose of enhancing wildlife viewing opportunities.

During the fall and winter these areas are surveyed once every two weeks. Types of species seen using the impoundments along with an approximate number is recorded. 

We often get asked how we count our waterfowl. The easiest method for counting a large flocks of birds is to divide the flock into sections or units. Depending on the size of the flock, you can divide the flock into two or more units. Then, count the birds in one unit and multiply that by the number of units. For example, if you have divided the flock into 4 units, and count 10 ducks in a unit. Multiply 10 ducks X 4 units = 40 ducks. 


For more information on how waterfowl surveys are conducted click here.

If you would like to see photos of wintering waterfowl visit our photo gallery.

The Southeast Region's waterfowl Flickr album can be seen here.