The 2022 Snow Goose Scoop
Breaking news on the Migration of Snow Geese through Vermont and New York
Summary Report — Friday, November 25, 2022
Snow Goose numbers seem to be holding steady in the low thousands in the Champlain Valley of Vermont and New York — and may have peaked at these relatively low numbers this year.
The high counts reported by birders and wildlife management officials the past few days stood at no more than and 2,000 geese at Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area in Addison, Vermont. The flock is often located frustratingly far from the viewing area on Route 17 (toward Gage Road one mile south). As I explain the the Backgrounder below, huge Snow Goose flocks are not as common as they used to be in the Champlain Valley. With food supplies now dwindling at Dead Creek, current goose counts may not rise much more. Even so, Saturday (26 November) should be a fine day for birding in the Champlain Valley of Vermont (geese or no geese).
Meanwhile, on the New York side of the lake, flocks of 2,500-3,000 geese have been recently reported in the vicinities of Kings Bay and Monty Bay. Your best bet may be to cruise around looking for goose flocks in farm fields and in the lake between Rouse’s Point and Plattsburgh.
The Map link below shows all Snow Goose reports since November 1 (eBird registration required). Watch for more waterfowl, Rough-legged Hawks and even Snowy Owls.
A real-time map, from eBird, of Snow Goose sightings around the world since November 1, 2022. (Requires an eBird account.)
What happened to all the geese? And why you might visit Vermont and not see the thousands of geese actually sitting 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 now closed for the 2022 season.
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.