Snowing Snow Geese

I recently got the opportunity to visit Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware and was delighted to see and photograph many different types of birds & waterfowl, including the beautiful Snow Geese.

Off in the far distance from the wildlife drive, several thousand Snow Geese had arrived, migrating here from the high arctic to the subarctic coastal areas in the Canadian and Northern Alaskan tundra.

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The delight became a thrill when I was lucky to watch two “lift-offs”, where the flock takes flight and then resettles in a whirlwind of white.

 

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And, boy oh boy, the noise is crazy loud and lovely, all at the same time.

 

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Watching a huge flock of Snow Geese swirl down from the sky is a little like the feeling of standing inside a snow globe!

 

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Snow Geese do not like to travel without the company of another couple dozen geese and can form flocks as large as several hundred thousand.

 

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Eventually, every last Snow Goose resettled to continue their foraging, preening, and rest.

 

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As I was leaving Bombay late afternoon, a third “lift-off” occurred where a large number decided to not resettle but instead took a direction away and flew right past me.

 

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They continued to climb high up in the sky and flew off into the horizon, headed to their evening’s place of rest.

 

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If you have never seen or heard the Snow Geese in their loud glory, my hope is one day you do.Β  It’s a sight and sound you will not likely ever forget!

 

36 thoughts on “Snowing Snow Geese

  1. Oh my gosh! You must have been in 7th heaven! I remember one morning several years ago standing outside the visitors center at Chincoteague when the Snow Geese were coming in for the day. And they just kept coming and coming and coming. I had never seen anything like it. That was back before I was taking pictures unfortunately. But your pictures are amazing and show just what I had witnessed. Thank you!

    • Thanks Ashley! I’ve been fortunate to see and hear huge flocks of Snow Geese many times over the last few years, and I still get just as excited as if it’s the first time. πŸ™‚

  2. Wow! That’s a lot of snow geese. It is an amazing sight and sound. Should you ever find yourself in AZ during the winter, a stop at Whitewater Draw is a must. 20,000 to 30,000 sandhill cranes roost here as well as huge flocks of snow geese. We boondocked there 3 nights and it was awesome!

    • Thanks Deborah! It is incredible! Hopefully, I’ll come upon them a few times again this winter, and just maybe they’ll be closer, where I’d definitely feel like I was in a snow globe! πŸ™‚

  3. Oh my! What an unforgettable sighting! Thank you for sharing your wonderful captures, Donna. I hope to witness something like that one day!

    • Thanks Helen! I’ve witnessed huge flocks of them many times over the years, the mid-Atlantic region is one of their winter havens. Each time it is a thrill all over again! I hope you get to witness them at least once some day. πŸ™‚

  4. It’s a glorious moment when large flocks of birds suddenly take off! It’s like an explosion of birds. I’ve seen many thousands of seabirds doing that in Peru. No bird hits the other in such a tumultuous exercise! Great pictures Donna! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks HJ! You are right, to have that many in flight at once, and they maneuver around each other so well, it’s crazy. I love your comment, “it’s like an explosion of birds”, perfect words! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Jerry! It wasn’t until the first lift-off occurred did I realize how much larger the flock was, many were behind a strip of marsh. They almost created a type of murmuration swarm before they started a whirlwind spiral back to the water and flats. I was in awe, sat for over an hour at one sitting, just watching and listening to the noise. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Brigham! This is one of the largest flocks I’ve seen over the past few years at Bombay. I saw another huge flock once around Rock Hall/Eastern Neck NWR and another at Chincoteague as well. My day at Bombay was a RPRT day! πŸ™‚

  5. Marvelous shots of these Snow Geese, Donna. They are a sight to behold, especially when thousands of them fly up into the sky, and you have given us beautiful examples of that.

  6. Absolutely fantastic tribute to this glorious spectacle, Donna. We still have gargantuan snow geese migrations in our country because of hunting regulations and appreciative enthusiasts like you who share the beauties. Other countries do not have this bird abundance for various reasons, and it is not to be taken for granted. So thanks so much for viewing it and sharing it with your wonderful photos and words. There truly is nothing like being on the ground during one of these snow goose takeoffs. And even when they’re not taking off, oh my word, the chaos and goose honking and delightful lively beauty is astounding.

    • Thanks Jet for your wonderful comments and info! It is jaw-dropping gorgeous to watch and listen to them. ‘Chaos’ is a perfect word when you see them in tight flight, wing-tip to wing-tip, honking & swirling, following the ones ahead of them. I could watch them for hours. πŸ™‚

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