This was a massive flock of snow geese that we found on Friday just driving around Nebraska. It's interesting that the focus of the Platte River birding in Nebraska is the sandhill crane, but the sheer numbers of snow geese are more intriguing to me. When Stan asked about doing a field trip to Nebraska through his nature center, I suggested early March. There may be fewer cranes, but enormous amounts of snow geese. And really, the numbers for both are still pretty amazing--60,000 sandhill cranes, 2 million snow geese.
I think this is one of my favorite photos from the trip. This is just a long, long line of snow geese. As cool as this is, it may be cause for environmental concern. According to Birds of North America Online the current estimates of the snow goose population is between 5 and 6 million, a number that may be environmentally unsustainable. When snow geese return to their breeding grounds, they pretty much eat the crap out of the habitat which in the long term could mean that they eat away the habitat so quickly that it won't recover for future breeding seasons causing a crash not only in their population but other species like sandpipers and phalaropes. Despite all of that, it's still pretty overwhelming to witness.
Below is a video of the above flock flying over our heads. You can hear Stan, my buddy Amber and myself giggling like fools. Non Birding Bill says it sounds like we are high.