Snow Geese

It is getting close to the time for the visiting winter Snow Geese to take flight to the skies for their migratory return to the Artic tundra for their breeding season.

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Snow Goose

 

Always on the lookout for them, I witnessed distant local farm fields blanketed with Snow Geese many times.  And it was always a beautiful sight when seen.

Fields blanketed with Snow Geese

 

Blackwater NWR had their share of Snow Geese, where they primarily stayed out on the water.

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Snow Geese landing on the water late afternoon at Blackwater NWR

 

Late yesterday afternoon, lo and behold (and finally!), we happened upon a flock of Snow Geese foraging on a farm field alongside a back road.

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Snow Geese settled for the evening

 

It was exciting to finally get a chance to be closer to them.  But it became even more exciting when I started viewing through my lens and noticed this flock included a large number of the Snow Goose’s dark morph color variant “Blue Goose”.

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Snow and Blue Geese

 

The dark color of the blue morph Snow Goose is controlled by a single gene, with dark being partially dominant over white.  If a pure dark goose mates with a white goose, the offspring will all be dark (possibly with white bellies).

If two white geese mate, they have only white offspring.  If two dark geese mate, they will have mostly dark offspring, but might have a few white ones too.

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Snow and Blue Geese

 

These two colors of geese were once thought to be two separate species but are now considered two color phases of the same Snow Goose species.

We sat a bit to not alarm the geese further since they had already seen our car coming, and we just watched and listened.  I love their sound!  I then slowly got out of the passenger side and went to the back of our car and used it as a blind to take my shots of the beautiful color mixture.

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Donna caught photographing Snow Geese

 

The geese didn’t mind.  Alas, there was no swirling ‘snow globe’ geese take-off/landing to capture, and we weren’t going to ‘create’ one.

As we slowly drove off, thankfully the Snow Geese remained grounded and were back to foraging and resting as if we’d never stopped.

 

31 thoughts on “Snow Geese

  1. Exciting! There is a snow goose chase here that is run by the Nature Club.I have gone twice and it is great to see the geese as well as other species. Maybe I will get to go again.

    • Thanks Brian! I know, they saw our car coming. At first they started to run, but when we stopped and sat a while, they stopped but kept their eye on us. Can’t blame them! When we took slowly back off, the ones alongside the road further down didn’t run, but we were afraid of stopping and they’d take flight. Poor things had probably had enough strife for another day of surviving, didn’t want to add any more!

    • Thank you, Ashley! It does, and too, when you’re looking out and see the field white in the distance, it literally looks like it snowed in that area. They ‘hide’ well when we do have snow. 🙂

    • Our temps are just starting to increase for the Spring, already jumping in just the last days to be in the 50-60s every day, so I expect they’ll be leaving any time. As well as all our other winter migratories…. 😦 I will miss them all!

  2. That’s a large concentration of Snow geese! These are better looking than the Canada geese. I wonder what they eat while they sit in that field? Do you know? Great post Donna. 🙂

  3. What a find! And what great shots. Your husband must be as patient as mine is when it comes to ‘stop the car’ orders when spotting something interesting. I saw very few snow geese this year, but we have had 4 tundra swans wintering nearby. One of these days, like the snow geese, they will be gone.

  4. We live in lower Sussex County and have seen large quantities of snow geese this winter. I think the sightings have been the best of the last 5 years. A huge flock still in Millsboro near the chicken plant but I expect them all to be gone soon. Off to Bombay Hook tomorrow for possibly our last look at the migrating ducks for this winter.

    • I criss-cross the back roads of Eastern Shore MD from Cambridge to Delaware and thought too that there seemed to be more SG on the big farms. Same with Tundra Swans. Best of luck at Bombay Hook tomorrow!

  5. I have seen the “snow globe” landing exercise. It’s a sight to behold. I used to live several hundred yards from a farm pond where they would circle around for quite a long time. Groups would peel off and land and then another, and another until they were all safe on the water. Neato!

    • How very lucky to witness SG ‘snowing’ over and over again from the comforts of home! Oh my, the sound! I know for sure the sights and sounds you’ve seen were truly amazing and will remain unforgettable!

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