I hope the summer is treating you well. It is the time of year when Florida mottled ducks and wood ducks molt their flight feathers which means it is also the time when FWC’s Waterfowl Biologists are in full swing into their banding efforts. Andrew Fanning bands mainly wood ducks in the northern part of the state while Jamie Feddersen handles mainly Florida mottled ducks in the southern part of the state, but we both will catch both species, as well as both species of whistling ducks.
We are in need of information. We are looking for areas that have concentrations of wood ducks and/or Florida mottled ducks that are airboat-accessible (don’t need a boat ramp, but need to be relatively stump-free and pretty large, 100 acres+). We catch most of our ducks at night from an airboat. In some residential situations, we may be able to make arrangements to operate traps.
If you know of areas that hold ducks during the summer months, please contact Andrew (Andrew.Fanning@MyFWC.com) or Jamie (Jamie.Feddersen@MyFWC.com). Ducks utilize almost any type of wetland habitat, but wood ducks seem to prefer emergent and buttonbush marsh while they are flightless. The banding season is July through early September. There are certain areas that we are familiar with (all the STAs, some ag fields in Palm Beach County, Rolling Meadows, Goodwin/Broadmoor). Any leads that you can pass along are appreciated. If you know of others who may have leads, feel free to pass this message along to them. If the suggested location sounds promising and we end up giving that location a try, we’re offering a night out on the marsh (complete with bugs, heat, muck and hopefully duck poop) to the person who gave us the tip.
Thanks for your help!
FWC Waterfowl Biologists