Thursday, April 23, 2015

Welcome back

The snow geese in autumn honk and fly by on their way south, but seldom stop.  During spring, however, as many as 500,000, on their way to Baffin Island (Nunavut territory)  descend en masse on  Baie-du-Febvre, on the shores of Lac Saint-Pierre, Quebec.  Why here?

The 5,000-kilometre journey requires a lot of energy. Prime sources of energy are the residues of maize crops left on the fields from the previous autumn, and they are safe here in the Biosphere Reserve, from natural predators.  They will spend several days in these staging areas, then continue on to the Canadian Arctic, arriving there in June.

Some snippits from a local spring geese migration report

April 12 - Sunday - "Respect"
Observers are urged not to cross the fences or approach the winged visitors in the field, to let them feed and rest. This is a crucial step in their migration where they will accumulate the energy they need to continue their journey.

April 13 - Monday - "Against All Odds"
10:30 a.m. An estimated 200,000 snow geese suddenly arrive in Baie-du-Febvre sector.

April 14 - Tuesday - "Migration Stable"
An estimated 175,000 to 200,000 geese in Baie-du-Febvre sector today. No less than 40 varieties of birds including a golden eagle and two eagles in our area spotted. Also several varieties of ducks.

Spring is really here.  The geese have come back.