Duck Doctors is a video series launched on the DUC YouTube channel earlier this year. Each Duck Doctors video features a DUC scientist who answers a question about wetlands, waterfowl or wildlife.
The first episode in the series tackles a question many Canadians ask us during fall migration season: Why do some ducks stay north in winter?
DUC research scientist Matt Dyson provides an information-packed answer in his three-minute video.
“Migration is energetically expensive for waterfowl, and so if they don’t have to do it, they won’t,” says Dyson. “If there’s food and water available, there’s no need for them to migrate.”
In the Prairie provinces, where nearly all water freezes during the winter, most ducks must head south to find what they need to survive. But on fast-moving water and around the Great Lakes and ocean coastlines, ducks will often stay — provided weather conditions are not too severe. Climate change and changes in agricultural land-use practices are also reducing the distances some ducks need to migrate to find adequate food and water supplies.
But wait — don’t ducks get too cold during Canadian winters?
Dyson explains three ways ducks can tough it out and stay warm:
Check out the Duck Doctors playlist on YouTube to watch Dyson’s episode and to find more of your questions answered, including:
Subscribe to our YouTube channel so you never miss an opportunity to learn more fascinating facts about your favourite topics!
Joining forces to protect the largest private grassland project in Canadian history
Peatlands have a critical role in boreal ecosystems amid the growing threat of wildfires in northern Canada. Can research and knowledge-sharing help restore a sustainable future for this vital region?
Wetlands are nature-based solutions for safer landscapes in an era of increased natural disasters.