In spite of a recent three-inch snow at one of our North Dakota study sites, we can say spring is blooming on the U.S. prairies. For more than a week, we have been finding nests of mallards and pintails — the early nesting species— and bluewings and shovelers are not far behind. All that means spring migration for many dabblers should be ending fairly soon.
Nine wigeon have transmitted locations since the last report. Four of them are still moving north and were in South or North Dakota at their last transmission. Five wigeon have stopped moving, which suggests they are preparing to nest in Minnesota, Iowa, or South Dakota. Perhaps the most interesting tidbit in this report is that male 903 and female 905 were trapped and marked together in February, and they appear to be paired. Their migration paths overlap 100 percent, so we have depicted them with the parallel green and orange lines that end in southern Minnesota. It is cool that the marking did not disrupt the pair bond nor did the transmitter lead to either bird divorcing its mate.
Three marked mallards have transmitted locations since the last report. One male appears to have settled in eastern Alberta and a female has settled in Iowa. The third bird, a male, appears to still be moving north and was last located in South Dakota.
Three of the green-winged teal have made movements since the last report. These birds are widely scattered between South Dakota, Iowa, and Manitoba.
It is likely that we will receive information from birds we haven’t heard from in a while in time for the next report.