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Snow Goose Festival

Our one year old is petting a snow goose!

We love birding, so every year we think about going to the Snow Goose Festival in Delta, Utah. This year we finally decided it was time. (Mom and Dad had done this years ago, when they fell in love with birding, but none of the boys had been.)

The Snow Goose Festival takes place every February in Delta, which is a little over an hour southwest of Utah Valley. The geese migrate through in huge numbers (up to 20,000, they say) and stay on the reservoir for a few days. Avid birders, like us, come and watch the geese fly from the reservoir to the fields north of town in the evening. In the morning, the birds fly back to the reservoir.

The National Wildlife Refuge System has spotting scopes set up for you to use.
The snow geese had to sit on the ice this year.
They are constantly in a cycle of sitting, flying, sitting, flying….

Though we do a lot of birding, and we’ve seen tons of Canadian geese, the only place we’ve seen snow geese is Delta. And we see thousands here. The flock we saw tonight looked to be in the 2,000 to 4,000 range. When they take off on the water, you can hear their collective wings beat the air with a helicopter-like sound. They call in a cacophony of half-honks raising a strident din. Tonight, they circled a few times and then flew right over our heads at about 75 feet high. It is hard to describe 3,000 large birds wheeling just overhead, other than to say, “You had to be there!”

Our four-year old proclaimed this “the greatest moment of my life,” and even our 1 year-old was patient as we sat for nearly 2 hours watching the geese sit on the reservoir and occasionally rise and circle before settling back on the ice again. It was quite an experience.

If you’re an avid birder, you’ll love the Snow Goose Festival. If you’re not an avid birder, the Snow Goose Festival will turn you into one!

Snow geese are a lot smaller than Canadian Geese.
They also sound much different.
We LOVED when they flew over us, even though it sounded
slightly like the movie, The Birds.
Every 10-15 minutes, more snow geese fly in to join the large flock.
We saw this both days we were there.

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