Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sky Full of Goose

Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Saturday, March 8, Kearney, Nebraska. Care to guess at how many species are in this photo?

I've seen some skies full of birds in my lifetime of birding, but I'm not sure I've EVER seen a sky quite as full as this one.

East of Kearney, Nebraska, near the famed Platte River migratory corridor for waterfowl and sandhill cranes, we came upon a gravel quarry absolutely filled with geese. The birds were resting on the water and on the islands between the quarry ponds, literally covering the surface. The noise of all those birds calling was the very definition of ear-splitting.

We had no idea how to estimate the number of birds present, but it seemed like several hundred thousand—and perhaps more than half a million.

Mixed goose flock containing Canadas, cackling, snow, Ross', and greater white-fronted geese.

We went back the next day and the flocks had almost entirely moved on to some other place. Ephemeral spectacle.


On April 2, 2008 at 6:40 PM Eve said...

Just found your blog Bill. Looks awesome. I live on what seems to be nice migration path and am just getting some movement of geese and vultures. I'm a bit north of Derby Hill...have you heard of it? Anyway it would take me a bit to go through the whole blog but I'll be back and check it out often.
Good birding!! It's a great time of year to be a birder!
OH and I don't even know you and I found your April fools joke very funny!

On April 3, 2008 at 1:17 PM Daniel said...

I look to the sky every winter to see if I can get me a snow goose down here in Honduras because every now and then somebody reports one...and over there you have em by the thousands...some people have all the luck!

good birding everybody and have a nice day!

On April 3, 2008 at 9:57 PM Mel said...

Wow!! Soooo many!!