Sandhill Cranes and swarms of geese at Yazoo NWR

2011 January 2
by David J. Ringer

VICKSBURG, MISS. — I stopped by Yazoo National Wildlife Refuge on my way through Mississippi today and was excited to find Sandhill Cranes and at least 25,000 geese. Here are a few shots. I’d like to go back soon when I have a little more time to work the flocks and habitat.

Sandhill Cranes

The throaty trill of Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis) sent me scrambling out of the car. I looked up and saw this flock of 20 circling high.

Snow Geese through trees

Snow Geese (Anser (Chen) caerulescens) were everywhere — thousands and thousands.

Snow Goose carrying corn cob

I didn’t see this until I looked through my photos, but one Snow Goose was carrying a corn cob around! I guess this bird knows how to party.

Ross's Goose in flight

I saw a few Ross’s Geese (Anser (Chen) rossii) in flight; this shot isn’t great but shows the bird’s key features clearly.

Snow Goose in flight

Compare this Snow Goose to the Ross’s pictured above. The Snow shows a bigger bill with a black patch, a bulkier head, and a more prominent neck.

Snow Geese and Ross's Geese flying together

Can you pick out the Ross’s Geese here? (There are two.)

Snow Geese

How about here? :-)

Greater White-fronted Geese

I also saw a couple hundred Greater White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons).

Greater White-fronted Goose

Here’s a beautiful adult “specklebelly” showing off in the last few rays of sun.

Snow Geese at sunset

Related posts:

  1. Small white-cheeked geese … ‘parvipes’?
  2. Solstice dawn
  3. Purple Martins in snow and 100,000 blackbirds
  4. Cranes and a kingbird
  5. Paul J. Rainey Wildlife Sanctuary
3 Responses
  1. Michaela permalink
    January 3, 2011

    Pretty sure I saw those same birds about a month ago! Amazing pictures, as always.

  2. January 3, 2011

    Amazing pictures .. makes me feel homesick (currently in Uk later Brazil then Germany ..no MS Delta for me thi season :-() http://www.hofmann-photography.de/index/00000locations/05mississippi/

  3. January 3, 2011

    Sitting in cold Vermont getting ready to head south through MS with our Airstream. Thanks to your post, may detour to the NWR. Nice job with photos.

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