1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

What causes Snow Geese to Fly?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Retief, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. Yesterday, Skagit Flats, we finally found a large flock of Snow Geese where we could photograph them. Here are a couple moving to a different place in the field, the farmers plant for them this time of year to support the migration:

    Moving to a New Field:

    Does this first image appear too soft?


    And here is what makes them "fly". Notice the 2 Bald Eagles. I am not quite sure what caused the Eagle behavior, but it was almost as if they were sparring. Notice in the first image that one of the Eagles is flying upside-down, inverted. This is also a small sample of how many geese were in this flock.



    After the Eagles chased the birds into the air, we followed them to another field, where we discovered what happens when:

    Snow Geese Go Wild:


    Notice in the above image how they both have a grip on the other, pulling the feathers with their beaks.

    The Winner - I'm Da Man!:

    It is incredible when these birds do a "fly-over" which we had happen yesterday. The sound from the wings and the wind is amazing. Even more amazing, I didn't get any "goose rain" :wink: .
  2. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    Very nice series Bill.... :eek: 


  3. Thanks, Frank, I have a couple of hundred images of the Snow Geese in flight, have to figure out which are decent enough to add to my album. I'll post one a bit later which is just before the Eagle images. I had just set up the camera when the whole flock took off, I didn't have time to get my eye to the camera so I just jammed the AF and Shutter buttons and panned away. Must have looked rather strange, but darned if it didn't work.

    The two Eagles, though, were amazing, and the photos don't do justice to them at all, just think the behavior is quite interesting.

    You folks all survived the latest storm OK?
  4. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005

    We were on the back side of the ice storm. Just caught the tail end. It was very foggy and overcast so I didn't get any flight shots during the weekend. :cry: 


  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Hey Gordon..........

    Really nice series and like the story as it was untold. It is amazing to watch when the congregate in so many numbers, in the fall you could literally watch a 3-4 flight to feed, then again return. Neat watching them roll over each other in bunches keeping them on the constant move.
    Well done!
  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    oops forgot to log in..............Keith R.

    .......... :lol:
  7. Frank, glad you came out OK, sounds like that was a bad one.

    Keith, remember, "Log In Is Your Friend" :wink: . Where do you find the Snow Geese? They migrate here this time each year and number in the many thousands. At times the fields look white and you can hear them a couple of miles away. I want to understand the Eagle behavior more, as they obviously were not hunting the geese at this time, it looked as if they were just "havning fun" at the expense of the geese. And, yes, it is an awesome experience when that many of them take off at once.
  8. Inverted Eagle Flight


    Somewhere I recall seeing a photo of two eagles flying, one inverted and grasping talons with the one flying upright. It may be a pair bonding ritual.

    The two geese tugging at each others feathers might also be either pair bonding or two males fighting over a female.

    Neat photos, whatever the reasons.

    Here is something similar I saw in Costa Rica last March - Scarlet Macaws
    D-100 70-300ED no cropping


  9. That could very well be the situation with the Eagles, Bob, I sure hope so. If I can find a nesting site, even better :)  . Those are cool images of the McCaws. As you can see I was not nearly that close for the Eagles, wish I was, that would have been an awesome series. I will watch for it more throughout the spring.

  10. There may not be a nest yet, many bird keep the same mate for a long time, if not for life. Some of the gals are high maintenance!

  11. Bill
    Nice series I have yet to experience a fly out yet but hopefully soon, I can imagine the noise and also I guess you have to tiptoe through the raindrops so to speak. You had asked about the first one, in regards to the others it is a little softer than the rest of the series.
  12. Thanks, Mike, I kind of thought so as well on the first shot but vacillated on whether to sharpen more agressively. I'll give it a shot this evening and decide which I like the best.

    Funny thing about the "raindrops", you are just in so much awe and too busy watching and photographing that it could be coming down on you in buckets and you wouldn't notice it until later, unless it somehow covered the business end of your lens :lol: . The first time we experienced this last year my wife and I did not get dumped on much, they missed me and got her twice, but our car, well, let's just say that a fair bit of the Blue color could not be seen....
  13. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    Causes of Snow Geese Flight

    Snow geese flight is caused by a combination of the flapping wing motion and the lift realized by the differential pressure between the upper and lower wing surfaces.
  14. Re: Causes of Snow Geese Flight

    Well, dang, and here I thought it was a matter of magic and flatulence. Amazing what you can learn from people who take pitchurs ain't it? Or maybe it is what is IN the pitchurs that matters......differential pressue indeed, next thing you'll do is point us to the dange textbooks. You, sir, are as bad as my daughter the teacher...... :wink:
  15. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    I was a wildlife biologist in training my first two years of college until I realized I preferred slimy scaly creatures and I then became an anadromous fisheries biologist (which I loved) and then the feds went and cut the budget of the program I was working on so I had to get a real job and now I just work..and I take pitchurs and sumtymes I sull thum. I eavin one a cuple of a werds now :) 

    Was that a run-on sentence?
  16. No, but this may be a run-on sentence as I comment on how coincidental all of this is as I started out to be a Marine Biologist but then Computers got in the way and I found out I could make a lot more money writing code than chasing Marine Mammals and fish but I still like it which is why I have been keeping Salt Water Aquaria since the early 70's. How's that?

    I used to do volunteer work at a Marine Museum at Cabrillo Beach in SoCal. At the time I had been in the Computer industry about 15 years and my salary was far above that of the PhD who ran the museum. Sad state of affairs, I'm afraid.

    Congrats on the awerds, I hain't gived a tri at dem yet myself. I'll just stick to the sellun bit, if I can find me sum byers that is.....

    You know, it is REALLY difficult to actually try to misspell stuff that badly.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.