A Look At America’s “Duck Factory”

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The Duck Factory

There is no denying that the Prairie Pothole Region of North America (America’s duck factory) is critical breeding and nesting and breeding habitat for birds. Sixty percent of North America’s ducks are hatched there, and hundreds of species of shore birds and songbirds rely on this iconic landscape, including several endangered species.

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Unfortunately, few people know about the importance of this vast and beautiful region and what it means for wildlife. Narrated by award-winning actor Michael Keaton, Wings Over Water, a new IMAX film produced with the support of Ducks Unlimited, will showcase this important region of our continent through the stunning visual storytelling format IMAX is famous for. The film is scheduled for release across the country in 2021.

The Prairie Pothole region of North America is the result of glaciers transforming the landscape into a vast complex of small wetlands in western Canada and the northern United States. These potholes provide nesting habitat not only for breeding ducks and geese, but many other species of songbirds and shorebirds that find their way into parks, forests, rivers and lakes and even urban backyards during migration and wintering periods.

“North America’s Prairie Pothole Region is a top conservation priority area for our organization,” said Ducks Unlimited CEO Adam Putnam. “We immediately saw the need to partner on this film to help educate the public on the region’s critical importance to waterfowl, other bird species and wildlife in general. When people of all ages and from all walks of life watch this film, they will have a better understanding of why we all must work together to conserve the Prairie Pothole Region to benefit waterfowl, other wildlife, people and communities across the continent.”

DU is working in conjunction with the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation of Illinois and other donors to produce Wings Over Water in order to spotlight the crucial importance of the Prairie Pothole Region. Filmmakers follow family groups of sandhill cranes, mallards and yellow warblers returning from southern wintering grounds to nest and raise the next generation of the species.

“The Prairie Potholes represent one of the most important ecosystems on planet earth,” said Charles S. Potter Jr., president and CEO of McGraw. “Yet, few people even know of this landscape, much less its overall importance to our migratory birds, water and soil quality.”

Source: Ducks Unlimited

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