Snow Geese Migration – Middle Creek

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Every year the famous Snow Geese migration journeys through our region as they head south and then return north.  And one of their favorite pit stops on their migratory journey is Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area.

Intimidating Numbers

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Experiencing the migrating Snow Geese settling into a region is something you won\’t forget.  The migration is measured by tens of thousands, with some years the numbers nearing 100k.

If you arrive before the peak numbers, you’ll see an amazing scene of birds descending from very high altitudes.  I’m not a migratory bird expert by any means, so I’ll try to describe what I”m seeing as best I can:

The geese are flying very high and appear to fly ‘over’ the Middle Creek area, much like a they are driving by to check out the space.  Then, they begin to arc in a wide circle and begin to descend.  The magic is that bands of birds are doing this nearly non-stop. So the birds appear like a slow moving, reverse tornado. They are arcing in circles and slowing descending lower and lower, tightening the circles into a narrower funnel until they pick the splash down spot.

You can sit and watch bands of dots in the sky flying in from such a distance that they materialize out of the blue sky… and then watch this reverse tornado of circling birds for hours.

I rather enjoy spotting the lone Canada Goose that hitched a ride with a group of Snow Geese, too.  I just like to believe that two old friends met on the highway in the sky and decided to road-trip together to their next rest stop.

Snow blankets

When the Snow Geese gather in their full numbers, the flocks look like blankets of snow draping across land and water alike. Which I like to believe is how they acquired their apropos name.  From a distance you’ll see hills of white and hear a low-distance roar.

There are a few areas famous for the Snow Geese migratory pit stop. I tend to rely upon Middle Creek Wildlife Area for viewing the migratory birds.

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Middle Creek, PA

Migratory water fowl thoroughly enjoy visiting Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area.  This area is famous for a migratory stop for Tundra Swans, Canada Geese, and Snow Geese and the crowds are a testimony to the popularity of this location.

Middle Creek does a great job keeping their website updated with a live feed and migratory bird status.  The geese can start arriving in February, depending on weather conditions.  This year they were running a bit late.

If you plan to visit, expect a crowded park full of people, cars, and birds.

2021 Migration

This year the Snow Geese are a bit late due to February\’s inclement weather. February felt like back-to-back snow and ice storms for most of the month.  Now that the weather has warmed up, the geese are arriving by the tens of thousands.  There is still a bunch of ice on the water, but warmer days are helping to melt it.

In addition to the Snow Geese mob, you\’ll also see Canada Geese and Tundra Swans. Plus a nesting pair of Bald Eagles!