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Where Have the Ducks Gone?

Houston Chronicle

Hunters on the Texas coast have been asking, where are all the ducks?

The Texas Coastal Prairies have long been the center of the state's waterfowling universe, says The Houston Chronicle.But this year, there didn't seem to be nearly as many birds. This winter the coastal prairies and marshes region drew fewer than a million ducks. That’s the second lowest number over the past 20 years. The lack of ducks is part of a significant and accelerating shift in waterfowl distribution across Texas. The overall number of ducks wintering on the Texas coast has been in slow but steady decline over at least the past two decades. A waterfowl spokesman for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says, “The birds are going where they can find what they need: water, food and refuge.” Increasingly, that means someplace besides the Texas Coast.

The situation isn't dire everywhere, though. This winter, the High Plains held three times its 20-year average of ducks.