Not neonatology: Snow Goose migration

Every year at least 1 million Snow Geese migrate from the Canadian arctic tundra towards the Carolinas. Many of them stop in Quebec especially around the region of Cap Tourmente, not far from Quebec city. There they eat the rhizomes of the American Bullrush, which few other large creatures eat, the energy stores in the rhizomes are important for the calories they need for the migration.

I went last weekend to see the tail end (!) of the migrating hordes, here mixed with Green-Winged Teal (Canada’s smallest duck). According to the official count/estimate there were over 16,000 geese that day.

Most of the birds are like the white morph on the lower left of this photo, the dark morph makes up a few percent of the flocks.

They sometimes pose for a portrait.

And sometimes fly in huge clouds as they head to roost in the evening.

We were also fortunate to see one of the last Belted Kingfishers before the water freezes and they head southerly. The white dots on the photo are a few flakes of snow that were falling.

About Keith Barrington

I am a neonatologist and clinical researcher at Sainte Justine University Health Center in Montréal
This entry was posted in Neonatal Research. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Not neonatology: Snow Goose migration

  1. Brian Darlow says:

    Just an awesome sight. Many thanks for this. William Fiennes “The Snow Geese” captures the journeys of the snow geese well.

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