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Field reports: Some Minnesota duck numbers up, some down

An annual survey of waterfowl breeding in Minnesota showed mixed results this spring, according to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials.

"Mallard and blue-winged teal counts declined some from last year, but we saw some increases in other species like ring-necked ducks, wood ducks and hooded mergansers," said Steve Cordts, DNR waterfowl specialist.

This year's mallard breeding population was estimated at 214,000, which is 15 percent below last year's estimate of 250,000 and 6 percent below the long-term average, Cordts said.

The combined populations of other ducks such as ring-necked ducks, wood ducks, gadwalls, northern shovelers, canvasbacks and redheads is 263,000, which is 23 percent higher than last year and 48 percent above the long-term average.

The estimate of total duck abundance (excluding scaup) is 636,000, which is 19 percent lower than last year and 3 percent above the long-term average.

Bird sanctuary celebrates barrens

Friends of the Bird Sanctuary of the Douglas County Wildlife Area in Gordon will hold Barrens Fest 2017, a celebration of the globally significant barrens landscape.

The free event will be held from 3-6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the clubhouse of the Douglas County Wildlife Area, located between Solon Springs and Gordon. A picnic supper will be held at 6 p.m.

From Highway 53, turn west on County Highway M, then north on Bird Road.

Marshall to host Governor's Pheasant Opener

The seventh annual Minnesota Governor's Pheasant Opener will be held Oct. 13 and 14 in Marshall. The city also hosted the event in 2012. Gov. Mark Dayton initiated the Governor's Pheasant Opener in 2011.

PF protects 5,241 acres

During its last fiscal year, ending June 30, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever partnered with private landowners to protect 5,241 acres with perpetual conservation easements held by the organization. The properties will be managed as working lands while providing quality habitat for pheasants, quail, pollinators and other wildlife.