Snow Geese at Freezeout Lake, Choteau, MT

On March 30, we were able to head over to Choteau, MT and watch the annual migration of the Snow geese.  The weekends before it sounded like was their peak time but we were still able to watch some take off in the morning to go visit neighboring fields in search of grain.  During it’s peak it sounds like they are well over 30,000 geese meeting at these ponds, on their way to breeding grounds.

There was an AMAZING sunrise that morning.   The sky started to change color 45 minutes prior to the official sunrise time, the kids ohhed and ahhed the whole way to Freezeout Lake.  At it’s peak it was splendid!!

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Add some Snow geese to the sky…C96A2925 C96A2927 C96A2936 C96A2943 C96A2951 C96A2961

My husband shot this of myself, a few of the littles and my oldest daughter, all of whom were taking pictures!IMG_6583C96A2995 C96A3002 C96A3005 C96A3010 C96A3034

Cool Facts

  • Snow Goose hunting in the eastern United States was stopped in 1916 because of low population levels. Hunting was allowed again in 1975 after populations had recovered. Since then, their populations have continued to grow, to the point that some areas of tundra nesting habitat are starting to suffer.

  • The dark color of the blue morph Snow Goose is controlled by a single gene, with dark being partially dominant over white. If a pure dark goose mates with a white goose, the offspring will all be dark (possibly with white bellies). If two white geese mate, they have only white offspring. If two dark geese mate, they will have mostly dark offspring, but might have a few white ones too.

  • Snow Geese chicks are well developed when they hatch, with open eyes and down-covered bodies that already show whether the adult will have white or dark plumage. Within a few days they are able to maintain a constant body temperature on their own. They grow very quickly, with the males outpacing the females.

  • The creamy white eggs of Snow Geese stain easily. People can sometimes tell what order the eggs were laid in, just by the color of the shells (the dirtiest shells belong to the oldest eggs).

  • In wintering and migrating flocks that are feeding, lookouts keep an eye out for eagles and other predators. Upon sighting a threat they call out to the rest of the flock, which may take flight.

  • Snow Geese make epic journeys by air, but they are impressive on foot, too. Within the first three weeks of hatching, goslings may walk up to 50 miles with their parents from the nest to a more suitable brood-rearing area. Molting Snow Geese can outrun many predators.

  • Females forage up to 18 hours a day once they arrive at breeding grounds, but eat little once they begin incubating the eggs.

  • Food passes through the Snow Goose’s digestive tract in only an hour or two, generating 6 to 15 droppings per hour. The defecation rate is highest when a goose is grubbing for rhizomes, because such food is very high in fiber and the goose inevitably swallows mud.

  • The oldest Snow Goose on record, shot in Texas in 1999, was 27 and a half.

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Some of the other waterfowl we saw that morning…C96A2917 C96A2912 C96A2903 C96A2895 C96A2904

Linking up with:

Water World Wednesday

Wild Bird Wednesday

The BIRD D’pot

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Amazing Week of Skies…

We’ve had a pretty busy week getting ready for lambing and doing some spring cleaning around our lambing sheds, double checking lambing equipment, checking ewes, plus normal family stuff and then we squeezed in an overnight trip to Choteau, MT.  More pictures of that trip coming up soon…

But we’ve had some pretty wonderful skies this past week….

Dramatic skies over the farm…IMG_3531 IMG_3525

Color in the rain coming down…IMG_3524 IMG_3516 IMG_3515 IMG_3473

Big black clouds passing through a sunset over the farm….IMG_3485 IMG_3478  IMG_1736

Waiting for sundown in Glacier National Park and the moon peaking out…IMG_1735 IMG_1621

Snow geese flying through the sky…IMG_1616

Sunset in Choteau, MT, above….IMG_1609

Sunrise in Choteau, MT…above and belowIMG_1604 IMG_1573

More sunset in Choteau, MT…IMG_1564 IMG_1551 IMG_1549 IMG_1527 IMG_1513 IMG_1505 IMG_1504

Sunset in the Mission Mountains, below….IMG_0730 IMG_0728 IMG_0718

More in Choteau, MT at Freezeout Lake…C96A2883 C96A2879 C96A2875 C96A2871-Edit C96A2868-Edit

Burning fields in Choteau…C96A2821

Clouds over our farm…C96A2780 C96A2771 C96A2764 C96A2745 C96A2742 C96A2734

Linking up with friends at:

Skywatch Friday

Birds Abounding…

I just love going outside, even just for a minute!  The sound of bird songs fill the air, lifting my mood…IMG_9781

Bluebirds…

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King Fisher…

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Wild Turkeys flying over the farm…IMG_2129 IMG_2130-Edit

Bald Eagle flying over the farm….IMG_2135

A hawk of some sort…IMG_2137

Mating season for the wild turkeys and some pretty good displays by the toms…IMG_9525 IMG_9530 IMG_9531

A Meadowlark…

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A colorful bunch of Crossbills on naked limbs and a dreary day…

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Enjoy your spring day!

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Wild Bird Wednesday,

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