Ross’s Geese at Klamath National WIldlife Area, Miller Island Unit

Ross’s Geese at Klamath National WIldlife Area, Miller Island Unit



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Ross’s Geese (Chen rossii) in Flight photos by Larry Jordan

A few weeks ago I took a ride up to the California/Oregon border to visit the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex. You can read my posts on two of these refuges over at the Wildlife Conservation Stamp website.
This state wildlife area is just south of the town of Klamath Falls, Oregon, and is a prime staging area in the late winter and early spring for migrating Ross’s, Snow, and White-fronted Geese.

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Ross’s Goose In Flight

Currently, about 95 percent of all Ross’s Geese nest in the Queen Maud Gulf Migratory Bird Sanctuary in the central Canadian Arctic and the main wintering area for them is the California Central Valley1.

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Ross’s Goose Range Map

It was late afternoon and I was heading back to California after driving around Upper Klamath Lake which still had so much snow on the ground most of the roads into the lake were impassible for me. I saw the sign for the wildlife area on highway 97 and turned in.

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Klamath Wildlife Area, Miller Island Unit

I’m glad that I did because there were hundreds of acres of agricultural fields where the Ross’s Geese were foraging with Greater White-fronted Geese and a few Snow Geese.

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Ross’s Geese Foraging

There were huge flocks, hundreds and hundreds of Ross’s Geese, flying in to take part in this feeding frenzy before the sun went down.

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Ross’s Goose Flapping Wings

This one seemed to be giving direction to the huge flocks as they approached.

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Ross’s Geese

Of course I shot some video to share all the sights and sounds of this impressive spectacle.

They were fun to watch as they occasionally looked skyward for predators as they vocalized and ate, until a Bald Eagle flew overhead, rather low to the ground and that was all it took. The geese took off nearly in unison and moved off to another field to fill their bellies.

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Ross’s Geese Take Off

For more great bird photos check out The Bird D’pot and Wild Bird Wednesday, then head over to the Wildlife Conservation Stamp website and like us on Facebook!

References: 1Birds of North America Online

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Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan is an avid birder and amateur photographer living on the Pacific Flyway near the Central Valley of Northern California. He is a board member of his local Audubon Society and is a bird and wildlife conservationist. Larry contributes to several wildlife conservation organizations and is a BirdLife International "Species Champion." He is also Habitat Manager for the Burrowing Owl Conservation Network, an organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Western Burrowing Owl population in the United States. Larry has been blogging about birds since September of 2007 at TheBirdersReport.com

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Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan is an avid birder and amateur photographer living on the Pacific Flyway near the Central Valley of Northern California. He is a board member of his local Audubon Society and is a bird and wildlife conservationist. Larry contributes to several wildlife conservation organizations and is a BirdLife International "Species Champion." He is also Habitat Manager for the Burrowing Owl Conservation Network, an organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Western Burrowing Owl population in the United States. Larry has been blogging about birds since September of 2007 at TheBirdersReport.com

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