Thursday, February 14, 2013

Early Spring (Canada Goose) Movements, Gatherings and Migrations

"White Face"  -- Barnacle Goose who flocks with family of Resident Canada Geese in Central Park.
Some may scoff when I write about the delicate interrelationship between mallards and geese and how both aid each other particularly in creating and maintaining open water in winter.

The article below is not about geese and ducks per se, but explains how beavers create open water in Canada which aids the geese in finding food and nesting.  It is a fascinating piece that demonstrates the vital interrelationship of species.

It also might help explain why many geese seem to start spring migrations very early when presumably there would still much ice and snow in Canada.

Migratory geese have already started to leave Central Park.

I was very surprised last night to find only about a dozen geese at Harlem Meer.

I am guessing the remaining geese to be "resident "and know for a fact, at least one of them is.

"White Face," the barnacle goose with white face and pink feet was at the Meer over the past few days (after wintering at the Reservoir with hundreds of migratory geese).  White Face and his Canada goose flock are in Central Park all year and are part of CP's small resident goose population (about 30). 

But, it appears many if not most, of the migratory geese have already left, both the Reservoir and Harlem Meer.

This is a far cry from the previous few days when there were as many as 100 geese at the Meer.

I am glad to have had opportunity then to take a bunch of photos while the geese gathered prior to migration:

But, though there may be few geese at the moment to photograph, I am guessing that the next few weeks will actually become replete with goose flying activity, both in and out of Central Park.

Central Park is apparently a brief resting point for hundreds of migratory geese passing through the Atlantic flyway on their way to Canada and Sub Arctic.

Spring migrations have apparently already started -- this is only the beginning. 

Stay tuned. --PCA


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