Mississippi flyway cam

Ducks in the central part of the U.S. migrate (when they do migrate) down the Mississippi Flyway, which is not only an obvious road South, but provides the wetlands and food that migrating ducks need. (Other birds of course also use this route, but for some reason I’m most concerned with ducks.) This map shows the four great flyways that migratory waterfowl use in North America; the one under discussion is in blue:

Reader Amy called my attention to a live Mississippi River flyway cam showing bunches of birds massing before they head south. The YouTube description says this:

The Raptor Resource Project has established a new bird cam on an island in the heart of the Mississippi River’s Driftless area. Located in the Upper Mississippi National Fish and Wildlife Refuge on Lake Onalaska, the Mississippi River Flyway Cam will offer an unparalleled look at migrating birds and river wildlife, including bald eagles, American white pelicans, sandhill cranes, Caspian terns, cormorants, and many species of ducks, gulls, and other waterfowl.

The cam is north of here, as shown in the map below, but the birds that fly south will undoubtedly be accompanied at some point by James and Honey—if they migrate. In the meantime, look at the live FlywayCam below and see what’s doing. I saw ducks earlier today, Amy saw some lovely sandhill cranes, and right now there’s a hawk and a bunch of pelicans. I saw some MALLARDS a few hours ago!



  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    I would probably be more familiar with the Central flyway being from the west side of Iowa. I do see Pelicans, Geese, and Cormorant on the video right now.

    If I remember correctly the early migrating ducks are the teal. They use to have an early season on teal for this reason but not something we want to know about now. As the bean and cornfields are harvested all along the Missouri there are millions of ducks and geese that travel south, stopping along the way to fill up. It is kind of a gas station for birds.

  2. rickflick
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Here in SW Idaho the river is pretty quiet already. There are a few Canadian geese, some cormorants, some coots and ruddy ducks, a pair of pied-billed grebes, and two or three mallards. The last white pelicans departed last week. I’m pretty sure they are all headed south to Mexico.

  3. GBJames
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    I’m seeing pelicans, I think.

    • rickflick
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      Just now two pelicans preening among some sandhill cranes.

      • GBJames
        Posted September 19, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

        A wonderful bird is the pelican…

  4. Jacques Hausser
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    This cam is fantastic! I just spent one hour looking at it – they can move the cam to focuse on interesting birds.

  5. ladyatheist
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    I find the sounds of the birds very calming. I kept it on at work and part of me felt like I was outdoors while working on a powerpoint document.

  6. Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    I am loving the sandhill crane sounds

  7. rickflick
    Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    I heard a small aircraft fly over and the noise was quite loud. This should not be permitted! The birds were unfazed, however.

  8. Posted September 18, 2018 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Are those white things feathers blowing around?

  9. Steve Gerrard
    Posted September 19, 2018 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    Cranes, herons, storks, I don’t know really, but they are wonderfully peaceful gathered at night to rest, with other birds mixed in and none of them bothered by each other all. Just lovely.

  10. Roger
    Posted September 19, 2018 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Sandhill cranes are some slow dang birds, until they find something they like to eat, much like many of our relatives that we know.

    • Roger
      Posted September 19, 2018 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      I saw some of those about a month ago by the way (I think). Haven’t seen any since though.

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