North Dakota's annual midwinter waterfowl survey indicated about 99,000 Canada geese in the state, slightly above average.
The Game and Fish Department says the survey also tallied 5,300 mallard ducks, down from the 10-year average.
Migratory game bird biologist Andy Dinges says the numbers likely would have been higher if not for a late-December blizzard that pushed birds south. He says snow impacts bird numbers more than extreme cold because it covers up farm fields where birds feed.
Dinges says the midwinter survey is used mainly to just monitor bird populations — not to provide an early glimpse of how numbers might shape up for the fall hunt. All states participate in the midwinter survey at the same time to avoid counting birds more than once.
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