News  Help with MassWildlife’s waterfowl survey this January

Public input is needed to identify current waterfowl feeding locations. Biologists will visit sites to identify and count these birds.
  • Division of Fisheries and Wildlife

Media Contact for Help with MassWildlife’s waterfowl survey this January

Media Contact, MassWildlife

Canada geese and mallards in winter

Every 5 years, MassWildlife conducts a winter waterfowl survey of sites where people feed wild ducks and geese. While the feeding of wildlife is discouraged, there is no state law or regulation that prohibits feeding (though some municipalities do restrict or prohibit feeding). MassWildlife is asking for the public’s assistance to identify current waterfowl feeding locations so that biologists can visit and identify and count these birds.

The survey will be conducted statewide in January of 2023 and includes sites in urban, suburban, and rural areas near fresh, brackish, and salt water. Feeding sites range from municipal parks where many visitors come to feed the ducks to ducks gathering in backyards feeding on spilled bird seed or handouts thrown out someone’s back door.

MassWildlife biologists will visit historic feeding sites from January 9–27, 2023. Because feeding locations can change over 5 years, public input is needed. If you know of a spot where waterfowl are being fed, please let us know by phone at 508-389-6321 or by e-mail at Please include the town and specific location where waterfowl are being fed. If you are able, please also include the number of ducks and/or geese (preferably by species) that you see at the feeding site at one time.

Mallards are by far the most common duck at feeding sites, but other ducks may be observed as well. American black ducks and Canada geese are common, and wood ducks, pintails, gadwalls, American wigeon, and hooded mergansers are occasionally seen.

MassWildlife has been conducting the winter waterfowl survey for the past 50 years. A report summarizing this year’s survey results compared with previous years will be posted in the coming months.

Media Contact for Help with MassWildlife’s waterfowl survey this January

  • Division of Fisheries and Wildlife 

    MassWildlife is responsible for the conservation of freshwater fish and wildlife in the Commonwealth, including endangered plants and animals. MassWildlife restores, protects, and manages land for wildlife to thrive and for people to enjoy.
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