Northerners look to the sky with anticipation every spring.
Everyone is waiting for the first duck. After a long winter the boreal forest begins to thaw. People living in the region look forward to seeing that first bird on the horizon, knowing millions more will follow.
The boreal provides a vast network of wetlands and waterways. It teems with life each summer in Canada’s north, hosting up to 40 per cent of the continent’s ducks each year.
More than half of North America’s bufflehead, goldeneye, scoter, ring-necked duck, merganser, green-winged teal, scaup, and American wigeon populations nest in the region. Three to five billion birds emerge from the boreal each year after breeding season.
Building up strength starts in the boreal. Its life-giving waters provide food and shelter to prepare the younglings for the long journey ahead.
Science has proven that this forest is critical for North America’s waterfowl. It’s one of DUC’s two priority regions for conservation (the other being the prairie pothole region). Our goal is to ensure we conserve enough boreal habitat to support at least 11 million breeding ducks.
As fall migration gets underway, northerners now look to the skies to bid farewell. This year’s young are making the first big journey south. They will be back the following spring, to help hatch the next generation in the boreal forest.