The snow geese population at Middle Creek topped out this past weekend around 50,000 birds, with the peak presence lasting less than 24 hours.
“This is a great time to think about how quickly their numbers can change,” wrote Middle Creek manager Lauren Ferreri in the update.
As of Tuesday, the following counts were shared:
- Snow Geese: 15,000
- Tundra Swans: 2,000
- Canada Geese: 1,500
Yesterday’s weather may have further affected snow geese numbers, with the update noting that in general it is extremely hard to predict specific migration patterns.
Last year, the high count for snow geese was recorded on February 21 with 200,000 snow geese. The high count for tundra swans was 5,500 (February 22) and 7,500 Canada geese (February 15). In 2017, the peak snow geese population recorded was 70,000+ on February 22.
The Game Commission says that icing is the most significant variable determining the arrival of migrating waterfowl. Snow cover and ice buildup limit access to the waste grain that the waterfowl depend on for food.
The Middle Creek interior tour road opens March 1.
Watch this video for more on Middle Creek and the Snow Goose Migration.