90 million ducks to fly south

According to a recent press release from the national headquarters of Ducks Unlimited (DU), waterfowl hunters, wildlife watchers and other conservationists can expect to see plenty of ducks flying south this fall.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released its annual index predicting the number of ducks that will fly south come autumn.

This year, that index is 90 million birds.

That includes 11.3 million Mallards, down considerably from last year's record high of 13.6 million.

Although the overall fall flight number has decreased from last year's 105 million birds, 90 million is still a very high index, according to DU officials.

Prior to last year's record breaking number, the record index was 92 million in 1997, making this year's fall flight, the third highest on record.

Dr. Bruce Batt, DU's Chief Biologist says, "This is a very encouraging Fall flight outlook following the dry conditions that existed across most of the breeding grounds early past spring. The spring rains made all the difference."

For information, call Laura Houseal at (901) 758-3764.

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