[Tweeters] Re: Snow geese in Everett/Snohomish

Martha Jordan mj.cygnus at gmail.com
Tue Dec 22 13:25:15 PST 2015

Snow Geese have been moving a bit south of the usual Skagit/Boe Road area
for many years. Most notably a significant shift happened once WDFW
implemented the Quality Hunt areas that were designed to move snow geese
around and reduce serious crop damage to any one farmer. The number of snow
geese has also steadily, or more rapidly, increased in recent years. This
year the nest success on Wrangel Island was at 90%. The number of juveniles
in the flocks down here is substantial compared to other years, including
clumps of juveniles and a pair or two of adults (48 snow geese at Crescent
Lk Wildlife Area south of Monroe: 46 juveniles and 2 adults). Several
people have reported seeing these juvenile clumps earlier in the season.
The population has grown from about 110,000 in 2010 to about 250,000 in 2015
(I believe this is the stat I was given by WDFW. If someone has a closer
figure, chime in).

Meanwhile, during this period, the SGs redistributed themselves between
California and WA/Fraser from about 60-40% in the 1990's and early 2000s to
40 or less and 60 or more. This year, the geese have moved more into CA
rather than staying here. I do not know the percentage but likely more like
the original 60-40. That said, there are still a few thousand in the
Snohomish area and these fly back and forth daily between the roost site on
Port Susan Bay and the fields south of Snohomish. A few adventurous SG are
even further south in the Snoqualmie Valley but in a single family group or

SGs have been migrating over our area for a very long time. I hear them most
often at night during the fall. They do migrate at night over the Coast
Range in Oregon. Only heard, not seen. The past 2 falls I have seen them
around dusk flying high and calling over the Mill Creek/south Everett area.

The farmers are likely pleased the really big numbers did not come to the
Skagit this fall, moved and moved on very quickly. I do not know how many
were counted in the recent aerial survey. Just know it was less than
expected considering the banner production year on Wrangel Island.

Martha Jordan

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