• Aaron Yetter

Meditation on mallards: Aaron Yetter

Mallards, the most popular duck for Illinois waterfowlers, is the topic of Aaron Yetter's latest blog entry from his aerial surveys. Or in this case, non-flight day.

He does the aerial surveys for the Illinois Natural History Survey along the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.

Survey numbers are posted at

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources links the surveys on their site at

Here is Yetter's latest blog:

November 19th, 2015 – Aerial Waterfowl Inventory Blog

Wind and weather prevented us from flying the waterfowl survey during the week of

November 16th. This was unfortunate because we usually get a big movement of mallards

into both the Illinois and Mississippi rivers during mid-November. I think there was

a small migration of waterfowl into central Illinois this week based on hunter reports, but

we won’t know for sure until I can get in the airplane again.

Speaking of mallards…..they are the number one duck in Illinois’ harvest year after year.

In falls 2009 & 2010, we placed radio transmitters on 142 drakes and hens near Havana, IL

and followed them daily throughout La Grange Pool of the Illinois River. The average daily

movement was 2.4 miles/day and did not vary between years or sexes. Radio-marked

mallards distributed themselves throughout the study area from Banner Marsh State Fish

and Wildlife Area (SFWA) near Glasford, IL, to Sanganois SFWA near Chandlerville, IL;

a distance of approximately 43 miles. Keep this in mind when you are looking at the

distribution of birds on the waterfowl survey sheets. For more information on the waterfowl

surveys, check out our web page at

Be safe and happy hunting! Stay tuned for more updates next week…….

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