Saturday, January 21, 2012

What Am I?

See if you can figure out what I saw last weekend on my short hike near Back Bay.

Let's eliminate the entire plant kingdom and more than a million animal species right off the bat. I have feathers.

Unlike many of you humans (and most of my feathered friends), I mate for life.

As an adult, I weigh about 7 to 10 pounds (3.2 to 4.5 kg).

I nest in colonies, way up in northern Greenland, Canada, and Alaska - above the timber line.

For the winter, I migrate thousands of miles - with no map or GPS or compass - to areas where I can survive and get enough to eat (including Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia, USA).

I am usually white as snow with black wingtips, although I have a bluish color phase as well.

One of my close relatives is named after a very large North American country.

I fear eagles but little else as an adult, other than you humans that hunt me. But my chicks lead a perilous life to reach adulthood. Arctic foxes and skuas are deadly enemies of my young.

You might confuse me with a similar large migratory bird that is also white, but this species has a longer neck.

OK, enough clues - time to guess. Scroll down....

I am a snow goose!

On my hike last weekend, I came across a marsh with several hundred snow geese (and some Canada geese and ducks). Several hundred more arrived while I was there. The sight and wild sound of so many creatures so close was amazing!


  1. Nice shots. That must have been beautiful to witness!

  2. I got this one! : )
    Great photos.