Snow Goose Migration
A late winter storm is taking shape across the plains and is forecasted to bring the biggest snowfall of the year to many places across the Central and Mississippi Flyways. The leading edge of the snow goose migration has shifted a little further north from last week as the snow line has receeded some. The snow goose migration has now made it’s way into northern Nebraska and even a few have been reported in South Dakota. Large concentrations of birds are still located in southeast Nebraska, NW Missouri, and SW Iowa, the question is will these birds ride out the storm or not. The location of the leading edge of birds looks to pick up anywhere from 6-12 inches of snow. The forecast for the remainder of the week and into the weekend calls for temps above freezing by Sunday, but nothing to make the snow go away quickly.
The snow goose migration has been fairly slow over the past week. Large numbers of birds are still staging in the Squaw Creek area with decent success being reported. Further south, fewer birds have been reported across Kansas, southern Missouri, southern Illinois, and Arkansas. While hunters aren’t seeing as many birds in these locations, the number of juveniles is still providing good hunting opportunities. A stiff south wind and temperatures climbing near 60 on Sunday sent many of these younger birds north. Just days later, the question everyone is asking in the snow goose world is what will this winter storm do to the snow goose migration? One would have to think that a food source buried under 6+ inches of snow will force snow geese to head south and southeast in search for open food sources. The current location of the masses of adults fits the snow-line well. If the forecast holds true, the snow line by Friday will stretch from southwest Missouri into central Illinois which leads many to believe area just to the south are in for a reverse migration. As of yesterday evening, there were reports of birds headed south across the I70 corridor in Missouri. This morning, in central Illinois, large groups of snow were spotted southbound. We look for many birds to follow suit in the coming day as the snow begins to fly. If you’re in areas across southern Missouri and Illinois, it could be a good weekend….if the roads allow for travel.
February 21 Update**** Yesterday the snow geese left in grand fashion from Squaw Creek. Numbers there have been updated. Once the storm passes, we should know where the snow goose migration has moved to.