The snow geese migration along the Rocky Mountain Front in Montana is in full swing. The birds usually come though from the middle of March though early April on their way to their nesting grounds located on a small island in the north Bearing Sea. The migration is a nature and wildlife photographers must do activity. It’s an epic adventure and a wildlife experience worth watching in person. Every spring I travel up and down the Rocky Mountain Front of Montana to photograph one of natures most miraculous bird shows. Its a total experience.
I usually camp-out and photograph from sun up to sun down. I’m away from home for a few days at a time, but I love it. This time of year, the days are getting longer but it’s still early enough in the year to experience below freezing temps in the mornings, snow on some days, and lots of wind. Layering is a must as some daytime temps can reach the 50′s.
This year the bird numbers are down. I think most of the white geese are moving through but not staying. The weather has been mild here so I suspect there’s open water up north, how far up north, I’m not sure, because I know that Alaska got hammered this winter. Check out my friend Dan Bailey’s posts, he’s an alaska based oudoor adventure photographer who can teach you a lot. Moving back to Glacier Country, and the Rocky Mountain Front, I’m going to share a photograph and video of snow geese with you.
In preparation to make a video like this, you have to know a little about bird behavior, and I know just enough to get me in trouble, and that’s what I found. I knew the birds would fly into the wind, they always take off into the wind – but I never imagined that the entire flock would move over me. You’ll watch as over 100,000 and as many as 150,000 snow geese lift off and fly right over my head (starting at about minute 1:15). Watch as the geese just keep coming and coming and coming. What’s also unique about this video, is that these geese are leaving for good, this was their final lift off as they moved farther north from Montana. I have to tell you that this video was shot last spring, the numbers did not get this large this year. . . The video is below this still image of a flock of snow geese rising off the water, and heading out to feed. The snow capped peeks of the Rocky Mountain Front are visible in the background.