Monday, March 5, 2012

White-fronted Goose

In late February, eBird, in conjunction with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted an early beginning for waterfowl migration due to an unsually "early blast of warm air." Writes eBird, "Snow, Canada, Cackling, Greater White-fronted, and Ross’s Geese should all be on the move with this weather system. Watch for them to potentially move north to staging areas in Nebraska, and possibly to Quebec and points further east. There is also a possibility that some western geese (Cackling, Greater White-fronted, and Ross's) could be displaced eastward with the strong southwesterly flow."

Sure enough, on 25 February 2012, local birders found White-fronted Geese on Wells Lake near Fairibault in Rice County, Minnesota. It took Erika and me three trips to Wells Lake to finally locate the White-fronts. In the upper photo, taken on 3 March, one is clearly visible in the center left of the photo: note the orange-yellow bill and feet, white face patch, and speckled belly. If you look closely, however, you will note two more White-fronted Geese asleep behind the Canada Geese at the far right of the photo. Note the white line below their wings. Several years ago, as you can see below, John H. and I photographed a pair of White-fronted Geese at this same location.

1 comment:

  1. We saw some in mid-March last year at the Superior Drive pond in Northfield. Saw our first red-winged blackbirds of the season today (not that we've been out searching for them).