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Chris' Camera Bag

A Photo Web log by Chris Young

Peak waterfowl migration

November 29, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Above: A passing bald eagle startles mallard ducks into flight.

Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge near Havana was the place to be this fall - if you were a migrating duck.

The refuge held up to 262,000 ducks at one point.

Sites along the Illinois River surveyed by the Illinois Natural History Survey were seeing ducks well ahead of the 10-year average.

After a few glorious weeks, winter arrived early and starkly reduced the number of migrating waterfowl in the Illinois River Valley.

Here’s a look back at a great fall migration in Illinois.

Ducks lift off from the southwest portion of the Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge.

A bald eagle flies through a flock of ducks, looking for injured ones.

Waterfowl numbers can be partly attributed to weather conditions that allowed food to mature at Chautauqua before frost.

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