2012-12-23 Blue Morph Snow Goose (10) (1024x680)
The Fir Island Farms/Hayton Snow Goose Reserve -The dark morph, known as the Blue Goose, is extremely rare in Washington and has a dark gray body and white head. Both morphs have orange legs. Juveniles are gray overall with dark legs. www.birdweb.org/birdweb/bird/snow_goose Snow Geese by the thousands start arriving from the Arctic in early October. Typically 70,000 to 90,000 winter in North Puget Sound until late March or April.
Fraser-Skagit Population Dynamic. "Snow geese that over-winter in northwest Washington comprise a unique population of intercontinental travelers shared by three countries: the United States, Canada and Russia. These snow geese make an arduous, annual flight to Russia’s Chuckchi Sea, to breed on Wrangel Island off the north coast of Siberia. They are called the Fraser-Skagit population, because the same identification collaring/banding studies that disclosed details of their migration timing and itinerary, found that snow geese of this group had a high fidelity to one nesting site on Wrangel Island and to one wintering area, here. They stay apart from the other snow geese aggregations that nest separately on Wrangel and winter in California." ~ wdfw.wa.gov