Canada Geese on the Move

Mighty nice looking goose.
Coming in for a landing. Lower the landing gear.Touch down.

Off they go again. But, where do they go?

In North America there are four major flyways that birds use during migration: the Atlantic Flyway, the Pacific Flyway, the Mississippi Flyway and the Central Flyway. Geese gather in large flocks in “staging areas” before they start the long journey southward. Depending on where they have summered raising young, they may have to fly north, east or west to reach the staging area. That is why today, I saw Canada geese going across the border back into Canada.

Here are some winter shots taken March 8th 2011 at Niagara Falls State Park. I wonder if these geese ever left for their winter homes?

In October around here, the resident flocks are sometimes joined by migrating geese, making a very large flock. Often seen, the flock feeds mostly in open areas. They also visit ponds and lakes at this time, but do not stay at the waters, since feeding occurs in area fields, golf courses and parks. Canada Geese will return in spring to the location where they have nested most often, or where they learned to fly.

The geese at the beginning of the post are at the lake at the farm, where they were hatched. Most likely, we will see the same geese again, providing a hunter does not make them a trophy, or a car make them roadkill.

 It seems a difficult existence for them foraging in the snow, like below.They are not unlike the ducks that do not migrate, living off whatever handouts that park goers offer. If they just returned for Spring, they are a bit too early. 

Click “Geese” below to hear the loud noise they make. They are a noisy bunch.



11 thoughts on “Canada Geese on the Move

  1. I am often sad to see them go and soon I will very large flocks migrating South. They congregate by the thousands at Beaver Lake Nature Center near me. it is an amazing sight and sound. One you have inspired me to try and capture even with my bum ankle.

  2. great photos as usual Donna, today I saw and heard some Whooper Swans, they stop on the island migrating both ways, now they come down from Iceland I don’t know where they go to, seasons changing, Frances

  3. We always have some that stick around. I am glad of that…I really like them. My favorite behavior is their constant ‘talking’ while they are flying to the lake. I stop whatever I am doing to look up and see them fly and chat away.

  4. They have been flying all over the place except my place. No geese here unfortunately. Love that close-up shot. It looks like it has something to say.

    It’s strange that their feet don’t freeze in the snow.

  5. I’ve noticed that since the Lake near here was built, more and more birds are starting to migrate to it, or use it as a stopover. The Lake has been built for about 40 years now. I wonder what the first bird that flew over thought – “Hey, why don’t we ever stop here? Maybe when I’m the leader…”

  6. I love Canada geese. I often see them around here, funnily enough, because of the nearby nature reserve. The sight – and sound – of geese flying off in perfect formation is always a herald of the end of summer.

  7. Growing up in Denver, I always wanted to see geese fly south for the winter, and they never did–they just flew from one lake or pond or golf course to another. My first year in Ithaca, when the Geese Flew South for the Winter was amazing–I didn’t know they really did that! Such a strong sense of ritual to the departure, and to their return in spring. Had no idea about the “staging areas”–interesting. I love the photo of them in the snow with the shadows!

  8. I saw a flock of geese the other afternoon. Actually, I heard them before I saw them. When I looked up, they were stretched across the sky just forming into a “V” pattern. So impressive. So autumn-like. However, here in Long Island, there is a love/hate relationship. The geese have actually become a nuisance: stopping traffic and turning public parks and play areas into mine fields. It’s almost amusing to see the control efforts.

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