1.2 million snow geese!

By Guido Trombetta on 7:08 PM , , ,

©Mike Hollingshead - www.extremeinstability.com

Could you imagine 1.2 million geese together?
I've never been so lucky to see so many animals all together, at most I've seen some thousands mosquitos attacking me in a ricefield... but that was not a nice experience!
However, photographer and storm chaser Mike Hollingshead had the chance to film and photograph one of nature's most amazing displays: 1.2 million snow geese all together.
He was in the Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge near Mound City Missouri between February 17 and March 14, 2009. In that period of the year the snow geese spring migration takes place through the Central Flyway and hundreds of thousands (this year, more than a million) pass through the refuge.


©Mike Hollingshead - www.extremeinstability.com

Curiously at the beginning of the 20th century the Snow Geese were in decline but the population had increased of more than 300 percent since the mid-1970s and keeps increasing at a rate of more than 5 percent per year. Population indices are the highest they have been since population records have been kept, and evidence suggests that large breeding populations are spreading to previously untouched sections of the Hudson Bay coastline. They have increased to the point that the tundra breeding areas in the Arctic and the saltmarsh wintering grounds are both becoming severely degraded, and this affects other species using the same habitat.


©Mike Hollingshead - www.extremeinstability.com

Apart ecological concerns this is indeed an astonishing show.
In the following video Mike Hollingshead give us a better idea of what I'm talking about because sometimes pictures does not justice to something so huge, dynamic and loud!




©Mike Hollingshead - www.extremeinstability.com

©Mike Hollingshead - www.extremeinstability.com

©Mike Hollingshead - www.extremeinstability.com

©Mike Hollingshead - www.extremeinstability.com

©Mike Hollingshead - www.extremeinstability.com

©Mike Hollingshead - www.extremeinstability.com

©Mike Hollingshead - www.extremeinstability.com

©Mike Hollingshead - www.extremeinstability.com

©Mike Hollingshead - www.extremeinstability.com

Check Mike Hollingshead's website www.extremeinstability.com at the snow geese page to see many other of his shots from this mind-blowing migration and don't forget to take a look to his storm pictures too!


©Mike Hollingshead - www.extremeinstability.com