Friday, March 4, 2011

LOOK FOR: Migrating Canada Geese

Canada geese in flight
photo credit: Henry McLin
I've mentioned before that Matt and I keep a nature journal where we write down the dates that we see things. And every year, for the last 3 years since we've been keeping this journal, we've written down that we saw large numbers of Canada geese migrating on March 7-9.

Let's see if the dates hold again this year. Leave a comment on this post when you see your first big flock migrating!

Of course, in this area, you can see Canada geese year-round. They love the combination of mowed grass and water, which you get on the Mall, the C&O canal, and suburban parks, golf courses, and developments. It's believed many of these non-migrating geese are the descendants of geese that were re-introduced after the species was over-hunted in the early 1900s.

But plenty of geese have not been taken in by the city life and remain totally wild, flying thousands of miles every year. They breed in Canada and spend their winters in the southern US and northern Mexico. These are the geese we see in large v-shaped flocks, flying north, at this time of year. Keep an ear out for their honking, so you can wish them safe travels on their journey.

Canada geese in flight
photo credit: Joe Milmoe