If you have a photo or video of live ducks or geese, fill out a brief questionnaire, attach the photo/video, and leave the rest to us! We use artificial intelligence and in-house software to process the media file and turn it into useable, and most importantly to us, verifiable migration data!
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After you read our migration reports and watch the migration updates, be sure to check out our Migration Map.
With out Migration Map, you can stay in the know on duck counts, waterfowl surveys, and migration reports from across the country.
Our Migration Map is updated daily throughout the season, is interactive with various species and observable date ranges, and is completely free-to-use, so be sure to check it out!
'23 - '24 Waterfowl Migration Reports
November 29th, 2023
Ducks are concentrated where there’s water—usually big water. Teal and Divers make their way to Florida.
Due to what we assume is the severe dryness across much of the southern parts of the country, ducks are sticking very close to the major river systems or large water bodies.
This is evidenced not only by the anecdotal reports we’ve been receiving from our followers, but the verifiable data in our database which shows the largest concentrations of birds along the Illinois and Arkansas River systems in Illinois and Oklahoma respectively, and the Mississippi River Delta in Mississippi.
Also, worth noting, the Stormwater Treatment Areas in southern Florida appear to have a large concentration of teal and ring-neck at the moment.
It is worth noting, our coverage in Arkansas usually lags until mid to late December or so, when there is more water on the landscape and more ducks in the state. To be clear, we know there are ducks in Arkansas, we just can’t quantify or verify the amounts at present. But stay tuned. If you are from Arkansas and can help out, snap a photo or take a view of live Canada geese near you and submit a migration report via the link in our bio.
November 22nd, 2023
Minnesota has highest concentration of Canada geese, but little weather has meant relatively less successful outings and little migrational movement.
Similar to yesterday’s duck migration post (below), mild and un-interesting weather patterns highlights the timeframe since our last Canada goose update.
Still, while no major migrations appear to have occurred, there has still be some smaller movements on a regional basis to note. While the eastern Dakotas are still holding very respectable amounts of geese, it would appear peak numbers are in the rear-view. In what is probably a related bit of information, southern Minnesota as well as northern Iowa are starting to see increasing numbers.
Presently, the areas of largest Canada goose concentrations remain western and southwestern Minnesota.
It is worth noting, our Canada goose data coverage is not as expansive as our duck data coverage. If you can help out, snap a photo or take a view of live Canada geese near you and submit a migration report via this link.
November 21st, 2023
Little weather, little movement. Minnesota and Kansas lose a few birds. Arkansas and Oklahoma pick a few up.
Weather-wise, the past week has been uninteresting throughout most of the United States. Until yesterday, there had been ittle-to-no snowfall or precipitation, and flyway-wide winds have been scarce. As such, if comparing last week’s “Duck Migration” post to this one, you will notice very minimal changes.
Of note, Minnesota appears to have lost some ducks, as did Kansas. Meanwhile Oklahoma and Arkansas both saw increases in duck concentrations compared to last week.
Presently, the areas of largest duck concentrations remain the eastern Dakotas and the Illinois River valley down to its confluence with the Mississippi River near St. Charles, MO.
Also, for all you Pacific Flyway folks, we’ve recently increased our data coverage out your way, particularly in the state of California. Slowly but surely growing our data coverage!
November 14th, 2023
Canada geese moving along in Central Flyway, still up north in the Mississippi Flyway.
Geese are still hanging around up north in the Mississippi Flyway, and unfortunately there isn’t much on the forecast that looks like it’ll move them southward anytime soon. Presently, the largest concentrations are still around the Dakota and Minnesota, with modest populations in northern Illinois.
In the Central Flyway however, geese in respectable numbers are being reported as far south as Oklahoma where feeds nearby increasingly scarce water can be located.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t say that our Canada goose data is sparse-r than our duck data presently, with regions like the Pacific Northwest and states like Wisconsin presently un-reported on. If you’re reading this and are from those areas, please consider submitting a migration report via the link above.
November 13th, 2023
While hunting conditions have been poor (warm, no wind), and subsequently the amount of hunter success stories we’re getting has waned, birds are still on the move.
While hunting conditions have been poor (warm, no wind), and subsequently the amount of hunter success stories we’re getting has waned, birds are still on the move.
Between Halloween and Veterans Day, areas along the Missouri River between Omaha and Kansas City and the Illinois River south of Peoria picked up a good amount of ducks, with the first big wave of mallards of the season among them.
For example, the amount of mallards at Loess Bluff NWR in Northwest Missouri tripled in the aforementioned timeframe.
Also, areas along the Arkansas River in Kansas and Oklahoma and the Red River near Texarkana have seen an influx of new birds over the past week.
There is still a very large amount of birds in the Dakota and Minnesota, to be clear, but at the season wears on with little-to-no weather events to speak of, reports indicate waning hunter success as the birds get “stale.”
And to round the report out, unfortunately indications out of Louisiana are that the current amount of birds in the state is at a record low for this time of year.
November 7th, 2023
Even though the weather for the week ahead is nothing too exciting, the believe a sharp change in the photoperiod could cause a push of birds into mid-latitude states.
Photoperiodism: an organism’s direct response to the change in the amount of light in a 24 hour period (often associated with changing seasons).
While the weather for the week ahead is nothing to get too worked up about, there’s something interesting that happens every year around this time, and we think it has to do with the term defined about.
Whether you’re in California in the Pacific Flyway, Missouri, Illinois and Iowa in the Mississippi Flyway, or Maryland in the Atlantic Flyway, the second and third week of Novembers historically bring about a large uptick in bird concentrations.
This timing also coincides with when the photoperiod changes very drastically. Not only are the days getting shorter, but the “new moon” around Veterans Day means nighttime illumination will be less than 10% for nearly a week. Shorter days, darker nights.
So we think that, while the weather is nothing too exciting, if you’re in the mid-latitude states you could potentially see a new push of birds in the coming week.
November 1st, 2023
Canada geese still in the Dakotas in Minnesota, with respectable (but lower) concentrations in Kansas and along the middle extents of the Mississippi River.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that, similar to last week’s report, the Dakotas and Minnesota are still holding large concentrations of geese. We are tracking the highest concentrations of geese in western Minnesota and Northeast South Dakota. And while our data coverage is very sparse in North Dakota (submit a report via the link in our bio if you’re up that way!) all reports from the state indicate similar—lots of geese.
That said, some geese have started to move southward, with building concentrations in Kansas and along the middle extents of the Mississippi River.
Also, for what it’s worth, the first few flocks of what are assumed to be migratory (non-local) Canada geese have been reported as far south as central Oklahoma. That said, the relative concentrations of these reports are nowhere near what’s being tracked up north, and are not worth getting worked up about (yet!).
I expect these Canada goose migration reports to look very similar through the next few weeks—it takes a lot of to move Canada geese around, and they usually are considered the last of the “photo migrators”.
October 31st, 2023
The recent weather has definitely moved birds south and shifted them off of their patterns. That, plus new habitat due to rains in the midwest, and we think the week ahead continues to look promising for those in the Pacific Flyway, Central Flyway, and Mississippi Flyway
Even moreso than we expected, the wintry weather that blanketed most of the North / Northwest in snow and left much of the central portions of the flyways with near-or-sub-freezing temps has move birds southward.
And we’ve heard many reports of migrating ducks and geese from pretty much every corner of the Pacific, Central and Mississippi flyways (sorry Atlantic folks). The message is consistent—birds have started to move along or have shifted patterns.
It’s hard to say exactly where the “X” is right now, as this weather also added much-needed water to the landscape (especially in the Central and Mississippi flyways) and with that added water came added habitat. That said, the Dakotas and Minnesota still have stout concentrations of ducks, with respectable populations being report along the Illinois River and in central Kansas.
Even though the weather itself is either behind us or soon-to-be-over, we still think the week ahead could move more birds south and bring optimal hunting conditions.
October 26th, 2023
Wind, weather, low temperatures, full moon. Four-for-four on necessities for a major migratory event. Still very early in the season, but the week ahead could be a doozy.
Wind, weather, temperatures and migratory moons all point towards a high potential for migratory movements over the next week.
Up to 8” of snow is expected across a large swatch of the northern Pacific, Central and Mississippi Flyways.With this winter storm, lows are expected to dip into the teens and stay there through the end of the month.
On the heels of this winter weather is a modest, but consistent north wind.
And finally, the first full moon of the season—aptly named the “Hunter’s Moon” is here, and we all know photo-migrating species tend to move most with the coming of a new full moon.
All of these signs point toward the likelihood that birds will be forced off their patterns in the northern portions of the flyways, and that large amounts of new birds are likely to push into the central portions of each flyway.
October 25th, 2023
Goose migration is right on track, no major surprises. Minnesota and Dakotas have high concentrations, with modest populations in Michigan, Ohio, and parts of New York.
We’re considering the migration of geese to be about par for the course currently.
In what should come as a surprise to no one, the Dakotas and Minnesota are the place to be (in the Lower 48) for geese presently, with modest populations in Michigan and northern Ohio as well.
Additionally, there are small populations in Iowa, Kansas, and northern Illinois, but our extensive database suggests this is just the beginning, so look for these populations to increase over the next few weeks.
Limited data presently for the Atlantic flyway, but populations appear to be building at the Montezuma NWR complex as per usual for this time of year.
All this to say, data suggests the migration of geese is right where it normally is for this time of year.
October 24th, 2023
Reports of high bird counts, and good hunter success are coming from the Dakotas and Oregon (where there’s water). Higher than average duck populations for this time of year in northern Illinois.
With the start of season still days / weeks ahead for most of the United States, it should come to no one’s surprise that data coverage for our first migration report is somewhat sparse.
Still, for the northern United States there is a healthy amount of birds to be found where water is on the landscape, with both bird reports and reports of hunter success indicating South Dakota is the place to be at the moment.
Also, while still very early on in the season, promising counts are coming out of Illinois, with current waterfowl populations are above the long-term averages.
And while the most recent counts are down from earlier this month, much of the same can be said for parts of Oregon, where Summer Lake for example, has seen 2x the average amount of birds this October compared to Octobers from 2018 through 2022.
October 5th, 2023
First “cool front” of the year and a hard wind out of the Prairie Pothole region following last week’s full moon, and the early migrators are likely to be on the move.
The first “cool front” (not really a cold front) is blowing through the entire northern United States on the heels of last week’s full moon, and we think this will likely trigger the first migratory movements of the year, primarily among those species and populations that move early—like specks, pintail and teal.
While this weather is definitely not enough to trigger movement in some of the hardier species (like Mallards and Canada Geese), this is the perfect combination of wind, weather, and nighttime illumination for to trigger the internal clock of “photo migrators” (the birds that migrate based off the shortening of the day).
The winds blowing straight out of the Prairie Pothole Breeding Region (PPBR) will likely lead to birds showing up throughout the central United States over the weekend—with states like the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska likely seeing the most benefit. Look for bird populations in these areas to increase.
'22 - '23 Waterfowl Migration Reports
January 24th, 2023
Cold snap, freeze-frost line moving into Deep South, NNW winds and a new moon. All ingredients for one last major migratory event.
With the season drawing to a close, it would appear Mother Nature is providing us with one last major, country-wide migratory event.
In the week to come, temperatures will drop across the country, and a winter storm is set to hit the central United States—dropping snow from the Texas Panhandle all the way to Pennsylvania and New York State.
In addition to this snowfall and low temperatures, the freeze-frost line will transition far into the southern states, and a multi-day north-northwest wind is forecasted. All ingredients for a new migration of ducks and geese.
Couple all of the above with the fact that a new moon (no moon) occurs this week—which could knock ducks off of their nocturnal patterns—and we believe opportunities afield are good to end the season!
January 18th, 2023
Back-and-forth trading “migration-reverse migration” likely to dominate the next week, as temperatures fluctuate with transitory winds.
With the volatile weather going from bitter cold to unseasonably hot, we believe in this migration update, the stage was set (and still is) for weather-dependent back-and-forth trading in the southern portions of the flyways.
For example, at the top of the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley two dissimilar waterfowl areas—Ten Mile Pond Conservation Area in Missouri and Ballard County WMA in Kentucky—sit over 30 miles apart and yet recently have shared very similar trends in harvest statistics. At the beginning of the Holiday cold snap, hunter success was good while it lasted, but near-zero temperatures and hard north winds forced many of the ducks in the areas out. However, immediately after a warm spell began and what came to be a week-long south wind set in. During this time, both areas saw slow, steady, yet consistent increases to their hunter success.
Could it be a coincidence? Sure, but we believe this migration report is evidence of that when conditions are right—a warm spell immediately after a harsh cold snap—reverse migrations can occur sending ducks temporarily northward.
January 3rd, 2023
Major winter storm pushed many birds into central and southern portions of Mississippi Flyway as major rivers freeze over.
The Christmas holiday winter storm saw record lows across much of the country, with areas as far south as Oklahoma and Arkansas seeing sub-zero temperatures. Some areas in the midwest endured these temps for nearly a week.
As expected, many major river systems froze over, or were reduced to ice flows during this time, which had major impacts on the waterfowl populations in these areas. For example, areas in central Missouri lost nearly all of their birds during this time to warmer areas further south, and while its certain some returned with the warming trend, weather events like these make for major migration events as areas in Kentucky and southward all reportedly picked up new birds in higher concentrations.
With rain on the horizon, we believe early January could yield decent hunting success across all four flyways for no reason other than much-needed access to new food sources, and new habitat.
Happy New Year! Stay safe out there.
December 20th, 2022
Major migratory events likely as upcoming winter storm and sub-zero temperatures likely to send birds even further south.
On the heels of last week’s winter storm, which left a fresh blanket of snow across much of the northern states, a new cold front is moving in bringing with it some of the coldest temperatures in nearly a half-century. States as far south as Oklahoma and Missouri are bracing for sub-zero temperatures. For context, the last time it was this cold in central Missouri, the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers froze.
With this in mind, we bring good news to the southern states of the Mississippi Flyway with this migration report, as it is highly likely a large migration event will occur as the concentrations of birds staged along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers in Missouri and Illinois face pressure to move further southward.
Before we sign off, we’d be remiss if we didn’t say, stay safe out there friends. With temperatures this low, frostbite and hypothermia are serious threats to the hunting community. Stay safe!
December 13th, 2022
High potential for migratory events with snowfall expected in northern states, the first cold-snap in nearly a month, and NNW winds.
A large nation-wide winter storm is set to hit this week, with the northern portions of all four flyways expecting major snowfall and the southern states of the Mississippi Flyway expecting some much needed rain.
Following this winter storm, a week-long cold snap is set to settle in, causing prolonged sub-freezing temperatures in areas of major waterfowl concentrations including the Platte River, Missouri River, Illinois River, and the upper extents of the Mississippi River.
With all of this in mind, we believe this migration report is about as good as it gets, and that a large migration event is likely to occur across all four flyways, with the highest potential being for a new push of birds into the southern states of the Mississippi and Central Flyways. But as always, Mother Nature always sets the rules, we just play the game. Good luck everyone!
December 6th, 20222
Warm spell and full moon likely to hinder hunting success, but full moons usually allow for nighttime migrations, and new ducks!
With a warm trend on the horizon for much of the central and southern United States, duck hunting could get tough. Plus, a full moon may cause the ducks and geese to turn to nocturnal patterns, making hunting conditions even more challenging.
Fortunately, this migration report isn’t all bad news—a good portion of duck migration and goose migrations occur at night. So while the full moon might hinder local hunting conditions, it could be favorable for migration events. Plus there is supporting winds down the Ohio River into Missouri, Kentucky and Illinois as well as into the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays from New York and Pennsylvania.
Overall, we believe the migration outlook over the next week is below-average, but who knows… Mother Nature always winds up surprising us with a migration report of her own—and hers are the ones that matter!