Duck Migration Calendar

waterfowl migrating in a big flock with a colorful sunset background

With this duck migration blog, you get a fascinating glimpse into the annual journeys undertaken by various duck species. These migrations, driven by weather patterns, food availability, and reproductive needs, dictate breeding and survival. Monitoring migration patterns benefits birdwatchers, researchers, and conservationists. The process aids in the study and support of these migratory birds. The information you gather will play a role in conservation efforts and help maintain ecological balance. 

Each viewing is an indicator of the health of our planet’s ecosystems. Additionally, this blog is a valuable educational resource, enhancing wildlife appreciation and awareness among schools, nature centers, and environmental organizations.

Please note: We recognize the migration patterns, the diverse populations of individual waterfowl species, and the extensive distances they travel to breed and inhabit throughout the year. Given this variability, our blog for kids to explore different species is intended for fun and may not always reflect the precise movements of North American waterfowl.


Possible  Migration Patterns For Wildlife Observation

Duck migration, a phenomenon as ancient as it is awe-inspiring, follows specific routes that vary from species to species. These journeys are influenced by environmental conditions, leading to patterns that can shift based on factors like drought and severe weather patterns. 

Observers can note the seasonality of these migrations, with departures from breeding grounds and arrivals at wintering sites marked by the calendar. If you wish to witness these natural events, national parks, wildlife refuges, and wetlands are prime locations. 

During waterfowl migration, ducks exhibit fascinating behaviors such as forming large flocks and flying in V-formations to conserve energy. However, we must recognize that changing conditions may alter traditional timings, routes, and stopover sites for ducks and geese. Waterfowl are dynamic creatures, and migratory shifts can significantly impact wildlife observation.

Duck Breed  Month Destination
Common Goldeneye, Surf Scoter, Northern Pintail, Ruddy Duck January

Common Goldeneye: Great Lakes, Oregon, California

Surf Scoter: Great Lakes

Northern Pintail: Great Lakes

Ruddy Duck: Great Lakes 

Mallards, Common Goldeneye, Surf Scoter, Northern Pintail, Ruddy Duck February

Mallards: Northern US and Canada, centraal U.S

Common Goldeneye: Great Lakes, Oregon, California

Surf Scoter: Great Lakes

Northern Pintail: Great Lakes, central U.S, Gulf Coast 

Ruddy Duck: Great Lakes, Western Canada 

Mallards, Canvasbacks, Cinnamon Teal, Wood Ducks, Ruddy Duck March

Mallards: Northern US and Canada, central U.S

Canvasbacks: Alaska, Canada, Northern US, Prairie Pothole Region

Cinnamon Teal: Western United States, Great Salt Lake, San Luis Valley

Wood Ducks: Pacific Northwest, East of the Rocky Mountains

Ruddy Duck: Great Lakes, Western Canada 

Blue-Winged Teal, Canvasbacks, Cinnamon Teal, Ruddy Duck April

Blue-Winged Teal: Alaska, Prairie Pothole Region, Southern High Plains

Canvasbacks: Alaska, Canada, Northern US, Prairie Pothole Region

Cinnamon Teal: Western United States, Great Salt Lake, San Luis Valley

Ruddy Duck: Western Canada 

Blue-Winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Northern Pintails May

Blue-Winged Teal: Alaska, Prairie Pothole Region, Southern High Plains

Cinnamon Teal: Western United States, Great Salt Lake, San Luis Valley

Northern Pintails: Alaska, Canadian Arctic, Central United States, PPR 

Northern Pintails June Northern Pintails: Alaska, Canadian Arctic,, Central United States, PPR, Sacramento Valley
Mallards July Mallards PPR, Great Lakes 
Mallards, Blue-Winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Northern Shoveler August

Mallards: PPR, Great Lakes,  Gulf Coast, Southern US, Mexico

Blue-Winged Teal: Southern United States, Mexico, Central America

Cinnamon Teal: Mexico, Central America

Northern Shoveler: Southern US, California, Louisiana, Texas, Mexico

Mallards, Blue-winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Wood Ducks, Northern Shoveler, Ruddy Ducks September

Mallards: Outer Banks, NC, Gulf Coast, Southern US, Mexico, PPR, California 

Blue-Winged Teal: Southern United States, Mexico, Central America

Cinnamon Teal: Mexico, Central America

Wood Ducks: Georgia, Texas

Northern Shoveler: Southern US, California, Louisiana, Texas, Mexico

Ruddy Ducks: US & Mexico

Canvasbacks, Mallards, American Black Ducks, Northern Pintails, Green-Winged Teal, American Widgeon, Gadwall, Wood Ducks, Northern Shoveler, Ruddy Ducks October

Canvasbacks: San Francisco Bay, Central Valley, Gulf Coast, Atlantic Coast, Northern Mexico

Mallards: Outer Banks, NC, Gulf Coast, Southern US, Mexico

American Black Ducks: Long Island to the Outer Banks, NC

Northern Pintails: Outer Banks, NC

Green-Winged Teal: Outer Banks, NC

American Widgeon: Outer Banks, NC

Gadwall: Outer Banks, NC

Wood Ducks: Georgia, Texas

Northern Shoveler: Southern US, California, Louisiana, Texas, Mexico

Ruddy Ducks: US & Mexico

Canvasbacks, Mallards, American Black Ducks, Northern Pintails, Green-Winged Teal, American Widgeon, Gadwall November

Canvasbacks: San Francisco Bay, Central Valley, Gulf Coast, Atlantic Coast, Northern Mexico

Mallards: Outer Banks, NC, Gulf Coast, Southern US, Mexico

American Black Ducks: Long Island to the Outer Banks, NC

Northern Pintails: Outer Banks, NC

Green-Winged Teal: Outer Banks, NC

American Widgeon: Outer Banks, NC

Gadwall: Outer Banks, NC

Mallards, Common Goldeneye, Surf Scoter, Northern Pintail, Ruddy Duck December

Mallards: Outer Banks, NC, Gulf Coast, Southern US, Mexico

Common Goldeneye: Great Lakes, Oregon, California

Surf Scoter: Great Lakes

Northern Pintail: Great Lakes

Ruddy Duck: Great Lakes  


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