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New England is a Sea Duck's Winter Wonderland
By Dustin Meattey
White-winged Scoter Movements and Habitat Use in Southern New England, original article published in RI DEM Hunting and Trapping 2018-2019 Regulation Guide
“Flapping in a winter wonderland,” slightly alter the lyrics to Richard B. Smith’s Winter Wonderland and now we’re talking sea ducks. If you’ve had the pleasure to be on a boat off the shores of New England in the not-so-balmy winter months then you have probably gazed upon rafts comprised of thousands of sea ducks bobbing in the waves. These ducks inhabit our coasts during the winter to take advantage of plentiful food sources while their more northern breeding areas are covered in ice, but just where do these birds go during the rest of the year and what routes do they take to get there? Dustin Meattey, a recently graduated masters student from the University of Rhode Island, partnered with three other wildlife agencies to answer that very question.
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