[Tweeters] Eastern WA Snowgeese

Martha Jordan mj.cygnus at gmail.com
Sun Mar 22 12:35:33 PDT 2020


The clouds of white geese flying, swirling, landing, taking off are truly
spectacular. Dennis Paulson makes a good point, that the agricultural
changes are shifting habitats and, in a significant way, skewing it towards
geese. In particular, snow geese.
They spend much of the winter in the crop circles south of Boardman, OR
and surrounds. They fly up to eastern WA about mid-February. Then they
spread out over the area where there is plenty of available food.
Yes, the cranes may benefit from this increased crane friendly
cropping, but keep in mind that they arrive in mid-later March after the
more than 160,000 snow geese have had a go at the food resource. Biologists
are studying this shift and there is a cautionary note to what they are
finding.
What we do know is that the Wrangel Island snow goose population
produced 57% juveniles leaving for migration. Most of the eastern WA snows
are WI birds. Next year there is likely to be an exponential increase in
snow goose numbers everywhere in Washington, Oregon and California.
Enjoy the spectacle and be aware that the white/gray wave will likely
become more like a tsunami in the years to come. I believe it is important
to keep waterbird diversity, and other bird diversity, in this changing
landscape. How this may be accomplished remains is a work in progress, if
it is possible at all.

Martha Jordan
Everett, WA 98208
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