Lingering snow means ducks are heading out

LOMA, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Our cold temperatures and lingering snowpack have a direct impact on wildlife.

Park rangers at Highline Lake State Park say ducks and geese are having a harder time finding food, so they are heading out of town.

"Last year we had upwards of 800-900 ducks and geese along the water and this year we've got closer to 100-150 so we are seeing a lot less,” said Alan Martinez, Park Manager at Highline Lake.

All this snow and ice means ducks can’t hunt for food which means they are heading out of town.

"Part of it is the later migration and now that we have snow on the ground birds aren't finding food so they keep on migrating until they find some areas where they can access food,” said Martinez.

No ducks, means fewer eagles too.

"It also keeps our eagles in the area so that the eagles will prey on these guys as well,” said Martinez.

The ducks that are here, tend to stay together to find food and for warmth. Creating an opening in the very thick ice.

"Group of ducks and geese will stay in a small circle and they keep that area open just from swimming and body temperature,” said Martinez.

Park rangers say the ducks who fled our cold temps will head back in March. Most of the ducks you see are residents, so they call the Grand Valley home year round, rain or shine, like many of us.

As always try not to feed the ducks, because it ruins their hunting and gathering skills. However, if you do, make sure to swap out the bread for kale or peas. It’s healthier and will biodegrade easier.

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