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.

 

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