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Associated Press, Published February 01 2013

Survey finds fewer waterfowl in ND this winter

BISMARCK — A midwinter waterfowl survey in North Dakota found about 159,000 birds still hanging around the state, much lower than last year's record count of 279,000.

Game and Fish Department migratory bird biologist Mike Szymanski (shuh'-MAN'-skee) says conditions for this year's survey were more normal, in stark contrast to last year's extremely mild conditions. He says a strong winter storm on Veterans Day weekend pushed most waterfowl out of the state.

The midwinter count found about 32,000 mallard ducks and 127,000 Canada geese. Szymanski says the numbers are somewhat surprising given some of the harsh weather so far this winter. But he says a relatively shallow snow cover has enabled the birds to feed without too much trouble.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.