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Keep the Waterfowl Comeback on Track

Water fowl nest

North America’s waterfowl population is making a remarkable recovery. After decades of decline due to drought and the loss of endless hectares of wetlands and grasslands under the farmer’s plow, ducks are reappearing in eye-popping numbers — most notably throughout the Prairie pothole region. The small ponds and marshes that still dot the area are brimming not only with water but also with mallards, wigeons, gadwalls, and teal, thanks to extraordinary rainfall and a burgeoning movement to reclaim waterfowl habitat. Setting the trend towards more sustainable land-use practices are programs like the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, a campaign to rehabilitate waterfowl habitat in Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

Now’s your chance to “get quacking” and help keep the comeback on track by creating habitat where waterfowl can feed, breed, nest, and rest. Providing nesting cylinders has proven to be enormously successful with mallards, pintails, and teal in open wetland areas, such as the Prairie pothole region. The materials needed for this project are sold in imperial measures, so the following instructions use feet and inches.