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A thousand Snow Geese gathered in a pond or a field are like a thousand arrows drawn on a thousand trembling bows.
AMONG THE MOST DRAMATIC moments in all of North American birdwatching begins as a stirring, honking white mass of feathers and potential energy. A thousand Snow Geese gathered in a pond or a field are like a thousand arrows drawn on a thousand trembling bows.
Hunger might suddenly launch the flock. Or maybe the sunrise. Or perhaps an eagle hunting overhead. Whatever the case, the launch is not something you see, but an event that pulses through your body and brings to your mind immeasurable joy. These Snow Geese launched from Lake Champlain in upstate New York on November 16, 2013. The pulse still beats in me.
You’ll find big Snow Goose flocks in refuges along the mid-Atlantic coast, in fields across the central and southern U.S. and into Mexico, and notably at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico, where Snow Geese mix with the similar but diminutive Ross’s Geese.
Wherever they gather in numbers, Snow Geese are a profound manifestation of energy and flight and joy.