Attend the Twelfth
Friday - 2 PM Bird Walk with Ted Floyd
Saturday - 3-5 PM In Search of Geese
We are really looking forward to our 11th Anniversary Snow Goose Festival! We’ve had some great times with good friends! Sunrises, sunsets, good food, silly jokes, fascinating speakers, memorable sightseeing, and of course, birds! Last year we saw 70 species – not bad for February! Thanks to all of you who have taken this adventure with us! We hope we continue to learn and explore together for years to come!
We are excited about the new programs for 2013! Friday night, experience Music Of the Santa Fe trail with Mark Gardner. Our guest speaker, Richard Crossley is coming a long way to share his passion about birds with us! A new tour to the Blue Rose Ranch, horse rescue ranch and Colorado Birding Trail site is sure to be interesting and give you a taste of the old west. Also with a historical twist, you can have lunch and learn how to cook in a Dutch oven at the Big Timbers Museum. Visit a one room school house, tour Bent’s Old Fort and Bent’s NEW fort! Hear how we discovered where Black Swifts go in the winter. Discover the Wild Lands of Otero County. Other Favorite speakers will be here: Ted Floyd and Dave Leatherman. Two new events are the "Birds of a Feather Art Show" and the "Share the Spirit Photo Contest". So much to do – hope you can join us! Read more about it in the schedule!
OUR 2013 Guest SPEAKER IS RICHARD CROSSLEY
Snow Goose Update
As of Feb 1, 2013, we currently have 30-40,000 light geese in southeast Colorado along the lower Arkansas River. The majority of them are Mid Western Farms, a gravel pit between the towns of Holly and Granada. With the warm weather we've been having, the ice on some other reservoirs has been melting and opening up the water for the birds. John Martin Reservoir is hosting mostly dark geese lately.
In spring, waves of bright white snow geese against an endless blue sky fly into southeastern Colorado. They roost on the scattered lakes on the prairie and feed in the surrounding fields, making the area a favorite rest stop on their annual migration. Lesser snow geese are considered to be the most abundant goose in the world and number at least 6 million. There are four distinct populations recognized.
The lesser snow geese you will see at the High Plains Snow Goose Festival are part of the Western Central Flyway population that are on their way back to the Canadian Arctic where they nest. This flock winters in southeastern Colorado, New Mexico, the Texas panhandle and northern Mexico.
Lesser snow geese come in two different color phases within the same species. In the white phase, the geese are as white as snow except for the black wing tips. The other phase, called blue geese, is slate gray with a white head. Both have a dark “grinning patch” on the sides of their bill.
Ross Geese: Mixed in the flocks of snow geese you may find some Ross’s geese, which look very much like snow geese except that they are about 2/3 the size of snow geese and do not have the grinning patch. Ross’s geese weigh about 3-3 ½ pounds and snow geese weigh between 5-6 pounds.
In the arctic, snow geese graze on grasses and sedges that grow in the tundra. While migrating through the prairies of North America, they will also feed on leftover grain in the fields.
© High Plains Snowgoose Festival, Lamar Chamber