WC went out on Golden Eagle Audubon Society’s Goosapalooza Saturday. And, as a result, WC can report that there are indeed Snow Geese in Spring Migration in Boise.
Roswell Marsh is in southwest Boise. Like most wildlife management areas, it exists primarily to support waterfowl for hunting. The incidental benefit is good birding. In spring migrtion, with other areas along the Snake River, it provides good migration and staging habitat. Here the birds are arriving from foraging in the surrounding farm fields.1
Snow Geese, Trumpeter Swans, Greater White-fronted Geese and a variety of ducks stop here on their way north to rest, fuel up and relax a bit from the stress of migration.
The rest and relaxation isn’t perfect, of course. A nice selection of raptors, including Bald Eagles, Red-tailed and Rough-legged Hawks and an occasional Peregrine Falcon are tempted by all that food, and check the flocks often for injured birds, exhausted birds or just incautious birds. The raptors’ presence provokes a strong reaction.
And if the raptors put the migrants up too many times, the bird relocate to another pond, ideally one with fewer goose-eating predators around.
It’s all part of the ancient rituals of spring migration. Early spring migration – you can see the snow falling in some of these photos – but spring migration nonetheless. WC can’t wait for the next parts.
- WC’s camera took a tumble Saturday and suffered some damage. Among other complications, it’s a manual focus camera until replacement parts arrive. And WC’s 68-year old eyes aren’t as sharp as autofocus. WC apologizes for the less than crisp images. ↩