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Snow Goose

Snow Goose
Photo Information
Copyright: Rick Price (Adanac) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-03-30
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 40D, Canon 100-400/4.5-5.6L IS
Exposure: f/11, 1/1000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite Anatidae photos [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-04-10 18:13
Viewed: 4372
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This image was captured while we were in Montana at Freezeout Lake. I will be gone for a few days as we are headed camping once again.

Snow Goose
Chen caerulescens
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Status: Common winter west. Uncommon to fairly common east.
General Description

North American RangeA large goose, the Snow Goose occurs in a white or a dark morph. The white morph, the most common, is all white with black primaries. 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. The Snow Goose is similar in appearance to the smaller and far less common Ross' Goose, but the Snow Goose has a 'grin-patch' (a dark patch on the side of the beak that makes it appear to be open or grinning) that the Ross' Goose lacks. There are two subspecies of Snow Goose, the Greater and the Lesser Snow Geese, which vary in size.

Snow Geese nest colonially in the Arctic tundra within five miles of the coast. Greater Snow Geese tend to nest in higher, drier areas than Lesser Snow Geese. During migration and in winter, they inhabit coastal and freshwater marshes, estuaries, and agricultural lands, with Greater Snow Geese more likely to be in saltwater habitats than Lessers.

Flocks are especially large in winter and during migration. Snow Geese forage mostly by walking in shallow water or on land, usually in flocks that may include other geese. They rip vegetation from the ground and can cause damage to areas where there are large numbers of geese.

Snow Geese feed almost exclusively on plant material. During the breeding season, they eat many seeds, leaves, and roots of aquatic vegetation. The very young birds feed on invertebrates. Berries become more important in the fall. In winter, waste grain from agricultural fields has become a primary food source.

Long-term pair bonds are usually formed in the second year, although breeding doesn't usually start until the third year. Females are strongly philopatric, meaning they will return to the place they hatched to breed. Snow Geese often nest in colonies. The female selects a nest site and builds the nest on an area of high ground. The nest is a shallow depression lined with plant material and may be reused from year to year. After the female lays the first of 3 to 5 eggs, she lines the nest with down. The female incubates for 22 to 25 days, and the young leave the nest within a few hours of hatching. Both parents tend the young, but they feed themselves. After 42 to 50 days they can fly, but they remain with their family until they are 2 to 3 years old.

Migration Status
Large flocks migrate long distances, flying very high along narrow corridors and stopping at traditional stopover and wintering areas. Washington's population nests on Wrangel Island in Russia, north and west of the Bering Strait.

Proframe, CeltickRanger, rcrick, eqshannon, kmr13777, angela926, Jamesp, JPlumb, jaycee, gerbilratz, Luis52, MMM, Miss_Piggy has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • ssp286 (31)
  • [2008-04-10 18:32]

Excellent close up and nice details!

Hello Rick,

Beautiful in flight capture and great note.
You've done an excellent job on exposure looking at all the lovely details in the whites.
Wonderful light and color tones and perfect composition.

Best wishes, Harry

Hi Rick,

Great shot this Snow Goose, wonderful image excellent detail and lighting, POV and exposure spot on, really nice work, Cheers Rick :)

I was just telling Asbed about the difference in Nikon and Canon blues....you should read my comments to him because my fingers are giving out:-) Long day. Good shot my friend north of the 49th!

Hi Rick,
An excellent in flihgt shot with all the fine details captured against a clear blue BG and a perfect exposure.


Hello Rick,
Very good in flight shot, good composition and point of view, excellent sharpness and depth of field, nice colors and good details.

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-04-10 22:24]

Hi Joe

A action great shot - good composition and POV with good colour and superb detail and lighting. Well observed and captured.


  • Great 
  • JPlumb Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 158 N: 896] (2904)
  • [2008-04-10 22:33]

Hi Rick, nice shot of this Snow Goose in flight. I don't think I've ever seen one of these guys in Ontario, let along large flocks; that would be something to see. Your shot is well composed and positioned in a perfect crop. The goose is in good sharp detail with excellent colour.

Thanks, John

  • Great 
  • Art_R Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 244 W: 20 N: 839] (3892)
  • [2008-04-10 22:37]

Hi Rick , very nice action shot , good exposure and detail.



simple and perfect, TFS Ori

Hi Rick,
Beautiful in flight shot, and good composition.


hello Rick

superb in-flight shot the Snow Goose, fine POV and framing,
lovely luminosity of the image, excellent sharpness and details,



  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2008-04-11 7:35]

Hi Rick,
Gorgeous inflight shot, great timing to show off this wonderful streamline pose. Excellent action capture with superb details and perfect sharpness.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-04-11 8:09]

Hi Rick,

A wonderful capture of the Snow Goose in flight. Pose and colors are lovely. I like the position of the wings and the excellent details. I hope you have better weather on this camping expedition.


perfect Rick, the feather details on the neck is really impressive. a stunning flight shot, great work and TFs regards h

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-04-11 10:24]

Hello Rick,
Very beautiful photo of this Snow Goose. Great sharpness and details in the white feathers. Maybe a bit more clarity is possible, but these colours are also beautiful. Excellent composition and a very good timing.
Have a good weekend,

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-04-11 10:45]

Excellent in-flight shot of this Snow Goose, Rick!
The pose you have captured is superb!
Very good lighting and excellent exposure.
I love the pale blue sky too.
Very sharp and detailed.
Superb work!


  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-04-11 18:30]

Hi Rick.
Photo full of fine details. Great image You have here. Very sharp. I know how hard is to take this kind of images. You did a great work here Rick.
saludos and have a good weekend My friend.

  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2008-04-12 3:49]

Hi Rick

Superb in-flight shot of the Snow Goose
excellent pose and great POV.
Nice details with lovely light and good exposure on the difficult Whites.
Good note too.


  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-04-12 21:22]

Hello Rick

This is beautiful!
What a wonderful capture.
The blue sky is super,the snow goose looks great against it.
Wonderful POV and DOF.
The detail in the plumage is excellent.
Well placed in the frame.


Hi Rick,

Very good flight picture of Snow Goose. You have managed to capture sharp all white details with good lighting and composition.



  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2008-04-14 15:12]

Hi Rick
Good inflight capture.On sunday I saw huge concentration of them around Montreal.Good POV and very sharp image .You did master the white plumage nicely.
TFS Michel

Hallo Rick
What a delightful view of this Snow Goose in flight. This is an achievement I would like to accomplish one day. A successful in flight shot. I do admire photographers for achieving success in these photographs. This bird surely have and impressive wingspan and the black at the edges of the wings are really beautiful. The clarity and detail are really good displayed and I refer to the ripples in the neck particularly. The light blue background highlights the details of the goose even more. This presentation of the Snow Goose in flight is much appreciated. Thanks for sharing this beautiful bird.
Kind regards

Hello Rick,
Excellent details in this fine in-flight captured!
You even depict the expression of the bird, looks like a happy fellow to me...
A fine composition with a touch of dynamics!
Pablo -

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