The Mississippi Flyway is the longest migration corridor in the Western Hemisphere. From the Mackenzie River Valley in the Northwest Territories to the Mississippi Delta in Louisiana, the Mississippi Flyway provides over 3,000 miles of quality habitat uninterrupted by mountains making this route an ideal passage for millions of migrating birds, including 40% of the continent's waterfowl.
For over 20 years the survey--which runs through the fall migration--has monitored waterfowl/waterbird abundance and distribution, population dynamics and peak migration times in the upper Mississippi River (map). This data helps biologists and officials make important decisions about hunting regulations and habitat management.
Fall Flights data and information (Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge)
Fall flight surveys have been a cooperative effort between numerous partners:
The National Park Service monitors waterbirds each fall at Red Rock Lake, St. Paul, MN (map). Ground counts help resource managers understand how waterbirds use vulnerable habitats in the Twin Cities.
Did You Know?
At Lake Itasca, the elevation of the Mississippi River is 1,475 feet above sea level. It drops to sea level at the Gulf of Mexico. More than half of that drop occurs within the state of Minnesota.