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.

Snow Geese_Flight_DSC_3784

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.


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


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.


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 –

Snow Geese_DSC_4078

and even cohabitating with cows.


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?



  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.

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