Centre County Waterfowl Report 2/29/12

Many of us here in Centre County have brought up the idea of trying to coordinate efforts on rainy days when waterfowl could get forced down, by checking every single body of water in the county during the same block of hours, and trying to get a full picture of how the storm affected waterfowl migration. Today everything fell into place perfectly and between myself, Drew Weber, Josh Lefever, Joe Verica, Ian Gardner, and Mike Dreibelbis we were able to check almost every body of water suitable for waterfowl in Centre County, between 9am and 12pm. A total of 21 locations were visited by the six of us independently and we were able to find 15 species of waterfowl plus 2 other species of waterbirds (1,541 individual birds total).

Redheads and a Ring-necked Duck at the Duck Pond (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Waterfowl Species Found Today  in Centre County (1,531 individuals):

Canada Goose – 321

Tundra Swan – 498

Mallard – 26 males, 23 females, 91 not sexed

Gadwall pair at the Duck Pond (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

American Black Duck – 100 not sexed

Redhead – 2 males, 1 female

American Wigeon – 1 male, 2 females, 1 not sexed

Gadwall – 4 males, 4 females, 2 not sexed

Common Merganser – 2 male, 1 female, 325 not sexed

Hooded Merganser – 13 not sexed

Northern Pintail – 6 males, 9 females, 80 not sexed

Lesser Scaup – 3 males, 1 female

Ring-necked Duck – 3 males, 1 female, 4 not sexed

Northern Shoveler – 4 males, 4 females, 5 not sexed

Wood Duck – 3 not sexed


Other Waterbirds Found Today in Centre County (10 individuals):

American Coot – 8

Horned Grebe – 2

Tundra Swan (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Check out these links to see the full eBird checklist from each of the 21 locations that were visited today in search of waterfowl:

Duck/Centre Furnace Pond

Canada Goose at the Duck Pond (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

PSU Water Retention Pond

Scotia Pond

Home Depot’ Retention Pond

‘Lowes’ Rain Garden

Old Gatesburg Rd Ponds

Polled Hereford Ponds

Tadpole Rd Wetlands

Rock Hill Pond

Colyer Lake

Julian Wetlands

BESP Sunken Road

American Coot at the Duck Pond (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

BESP Swimming Beach

BESP Marina

BESP Lower Greens Run

Curtin Wetlands

Buffalo Run Rd Ponds

Toftrees Pond

Black Moshannon SP

Neff Rd Pond –  checked but no waterfowl were present

Nittany Farms Pond – checked but no waterfowl were present


Species diversity and waterfowl numbers were lower than we expected, except in the case of Tundra Swans. Drew and I both got reports from multiple friends of ours saying they heard and/or saw flocks of Tundra Swans migrating last evening. I think maybe the Tundra Swans (which often migrate during the day compared to the smaller waterfowl which migrate primarily at night) got an early start on moving north yesterday evening but then once the rain started, they were all forced down to the ground, whereas all the other waterfowl that didn’t start moving last night, never even started due to the rain during the night. That’s the only explanation I can think of to explain why we had a surplus of Tundra Swans in the county but disappointingly low numbers of all other waterfowl species.