The 2019 Snow Goose Scoop
Breaking news on the Migration of Snow Geese through Vermont and New York
Summary Report – Saturday, November 16, 2019
Snow Goose numbers are peaking here in Vermont, with reports from birders over the past several days ranging from several hundred to at least 4,000 Snow Geese at Dead Creek (on November 10). Most any day with decent weather in the next week or two should be good for goose watching (but please note — in my “2019 Backgrounder” below — why you might not see the Snow Geese at Dead Creek).
In New York, thousands of Snow Geese are now staging along Lake Champlain between Plattsburgh and Rouse’s Point, with many reports, including an impressive 10,000 on November 10. Your best bet in this region is to cruise the roads and watch the skies. Track reports from the New York shore with this eBird map.
Lesser Snow Geese and Ross’s Geese winter at a number of sites in central and western sections of the continent. Find these sites on this eBird map. Snow Goose numbers have been rising in the Pacific Northwest, and are now rising at sites farther south. Goose counts at New Mexico’s Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, a bellwether for other sites in the southern U.S., are rising, with reports of up to 5,000 and 10,000 during the past several days. Wintering populations peak in abundance at Bosque later in the year.
A real-time map, from eBird, of Snow Goose sightings around the world since November 1, 2019. Click on any map pin for details.
What happened to all the geese? And why you might visit Vermont and not see the thousands of geese actually there.
A Blue Ross's Goose
My lesson on the finer points of Snow Goose/Ross' Goose identification — something that should help you become a better birdwatcher.
The Snowy Owl Scoop
A snowstorm of a different kind: tracking the fall movement of Snowy Owls across the continent.
Resources and Readings
Snow Goose – The account from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds site.
Identification of White Geese by David Sibley – Help with telling Ross’s Goose from Snow Goose.
Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area – Vermont’s prime goose-viewing opportunity. The visitor center is open Tuesday through Sunday, 9am to 4pm, until November 10.
Geese Setting the Table for Polar Bears – The New York Times reports that a warming planet leaves polar bears with less opportunity to hunt seals. So they’re turning to snow geese chicks and eggs instead.
One Day, Two Ross’s – My account of seeing an exceedingly rare Ross’s Gull and the generally rare Ross’s Goose during a single day in 2013.