The Birds

Our Sacramento Valley is a hub of bird activity in the winter. Tens of thousands of birds come a calling, traveling on a super-highway called the Pacific Flyway. It is a major north-south route for migratory birds extending from Alaska to Patagonia. The Sacramento Valley is a key rest stop along the way, or even a winter home for some – where birds gather by the thousands.

Geese_Detail_DSC_3663
Snow Geese_Flight_DSC_3784
_snow-geese_810_7599

According to the Audubon Society, you will find about 250 species of birds in the Sacramento area alone. Expand your search east to the Sierra foothills & mountains, south to the San Joaquin River delta, and west to the Pacific Ocean and that increases to about 400 species.

Ducks_Flight_DSC_4101
Heron_Geese_DSC_0512

Some pass through…and some find it very cozy to stay on in our nearby parks where they are very well fed.

Geese_DSC_1515

Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue
is surrounded by rice fields…a perfect landing spots for birds who flock together, including these beautiful snow geese.

Snow Geese_Cropped_DSC_4093

Unfortunately, they are perfect sitting ducks for hunters as well. Throughout January, shotgun pops rang out and the birds took to the skies by the hundreds.

Geese_DSC_3663

This past weekend marked the end of hunting season. The birds could not be happier.

No Hunting_DSC_4123

Now that the skies are safe, you’ll find geese-covered fields putting a welcome mat out for their friends –

Geese_Ducks_DSC_4118
Snow Geese_DSC_4078

and even cohabitating with cows.

Geese_Cows_DSC_4138

The worldwide Great Backyard Bird Count runs February 13-16. Thanks to my friend, Rob for capturing this Alfred Hitchcock moment. Anyone want to take a guess on this count?

_snow-geese_810_7524

14 comments

  1. rmk

    Shoot, you didn’t need any of mine at all. The only way I could have gotten close up ones is by sheer luck. I don’t know you manage it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: