Fall Migration

For the past twenty-five autumns, I have observed Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) stopping for a visit on South Fidalgo Island.  While we have year-around resident geese in the area, the only time I see them here is during September and October.  This tells me that these visitors are stopping by on their annual migration.  The geese routinely come to the spot where a small stream drains into the bay.  Here, they can get a drink of fresh water, refuel with a seaweed snack and catch a snooze.  I have come to look forward to this annual event.  It is a part of the natural rhythm of the neighborhood.

I also see the V formations and hear the woodwind sounds of Canada Geese flying overhead.  They are always moving to the west following the South Fidalgo shoreline towards Deception Pass.  I suspect they will head out the Strait of Juan de Fuca to join other flocks in the Pacific Flyway.

Groups of between five and thirty birds will spend a couple of hours resting on the beach.  Then they will move on.  This pattern might be repeated two or three times a day.  Apparently, Canada Geese have traditional rest stops along their migration routes.  The South Fidalgo shoreline could be one of those spots.  It is always a pleasant, enjoyable scene when the birds stop by to take one of their breaks.


  1. I like to think the the geese who still migrate rather than hang around all year are hardier, more solid citizens. :) Not couch potatoes like those that stay in Seattle all year and sip lattes, ready too many books, and see indie films. :)


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