Waterfowl: Birds on the Wing
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network

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Waterfowl that make the Bay their winter home are great travelers, covering thousands of miles in their twice-yearly journeys. Most come from Canada , Alaska , and northern states like North Dakota —the “prairie pothole” country—where they have spent the summer raising their young.

Many ducks, among them dabblers like the green-winged teal, arrive in August, around the time wild rice is ripening. October and November see the arrival of families of Canada geese, including young nurtured on the Arctic tundra of eastern Canada before the flocks head down to the Chesapeake .

In late February or early March they retrace the route to their breeding grounds. Among the last to arrive in Bay country are canvasbacks, which nest from Minnesota and the Dakotas into Canada in mid-May, beginning their southward migration several months later. They usually show up in the Bay region by late November.

The Atlantic Flyway - Major migration corridors for waterfowl traveling to and from Chesapeake Bay.


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