Mega Numbers of Waterfowl at the Saskatchewan River Delta IBA

Catching up on a few things here and one of them is some of the large numbers of birds being counted at the Saskatchewan River Delta IBA around The Pas. Local volunteer Joel Kayer has been counting birds in this IBA since 2015 and birding the area, whether as an Atlasser or merely for the fun of it, a lot longer. This year he submitted some terrific numbers which I thought would be worth sharing. Please note, the numbers listed are just the large numbers of birds, not all birds Joel encountered.

9th May 2017

3757 Canada Goose

23,285 Mallard

2570 Northern Pintail

827 Ring-billed Gull

Northern Pintail_2957.jpg

Northern Pintails are abundant in the Carrot Valley during spring migration. Photo copyright Christian Artuso

22nd April 2017

915 Canada Goose

912 Tundra Swan

11,599 Mallard

752 Sandhill Crane

1609 Ring-billed Gull

953 Snow Bunting


Sandhill Crane in flight. Photo copyright Tim Poole

April 30th 2016 (Tundra Swan only survey)

9,216 Tundra Swan


Imagine seeing over 9,000 of these Tundra Swans in a single day on migration? Copyright Christian Artuso

The latter figure is certainly a significant concentration of this species not only in North America but globally. The area around The Pas is known for its incredible wetland habitats and large concentrations of migratory waterfowl. Thanks to Joel for highlighting this for all those of us living in southern Manitoba!