Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snow geese are on the move again

Snowgeese spend the winter in Baja and the Gulf of Mexico and then congregate by the hundreds of thousands in the spring to migrate northward, nesting north of the arctic circle. The 6,000 mile journey takes three months or more as the flocks follow the ice melt to the top of the world.

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Along the way they stop in established staging areas to rest and feed. One such staging area is Delta, Utah. Early each spring the white geese gather by the tens of thousands in the agricultural fields around the central Utah town.

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They are attracted by the fresh green shoots that are beginning to emerge in the fields. They feed primarily in the early morning and late evening hours. In the middle of the day they can be found resting on Gunnison Bend reservoir just outside of town. Here they can be viewed and photographed as they rest and digest their morning meal.

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It can be quite spectacular to witness the fly-in that usually occurs around 9 or 9:30 am. Thousands of geese fly in from all directions, dazzling the lucky observer and filling the reservoir with honking, squeaking birds.

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The city of Delta and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources sponsor the Snow goose Festival every year to celebrate this spectacular, spring Phenomenon. Join them this year on February 26th and 27th for the festivities. Check the Millard County web site for details.

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