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Discover Nature: Snow Geese - Migrating

A large flock of white and gray snow geese congregates in the air and on the ground in a winter crop field on a gray foggy morning.
Jim Rathert
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Watch for snow geese migrating southward and gathering in wetlands and fields across Missouri this week.

As colder air arrives this week, keep an eye to the Missouri sky for honking flocks of snow geese.

These medium-sized geese are mostly white, with black wingtips. The so-called “blue morph” sports grayish-brown feathers, with a white head and white on the underside of its wings.

Watch for their bright V-shaped chevrons – especially in stark contrast against a clear, black night sky – and consider the journey they’ve made.

Each fall, flocks fly south from their nesting grounds in the arctic tundra – migrating to Missouri, and other southern states, to wait-out the winter. In Missouri, find snow geese in marshes, wetlands, rivers, lakes, and crop fields.

Snow geese use their bills to dig-up and eat the roots of various marsh plants and have adapted to feed on leftover grains such as rice, wheat, and corn.

These birds also provide an important source of food during winter months, for bald and golden eagles.

Find a conservation area near you to go see snow geese arriving this week, and learn more about these birds with the Missouri Department of Conservation’s online field guide. Find more information on birding in Missouri with the Great Missouri Birding Trail.

Discover Nature is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation. 

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