Goose Migration Marks Seasonal Changes

The canadian geese migration has begun in Anchorage. Biologists say the bird arrives two to three weeks before the snow melts and stays through the summer to nest and raise their goslings.

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by Megan Mazurek

It's a sign the seasons are changing. The canadian geese migration has begun in Anchorage. Biologists say the birds arrive two to three weeks before the snow melts and stays through the summer to nest and raise their goslings.

Residents can find the baby birds at nearby lakes like at Cuddy Park, Westchester Lagoon or golf courses where the birds are safe and protected. The young will actually stay with the adult geese for the first year of the their life.

Residents are probably seeing other sub species of geese flying around Anchorage from the interior and norther parts of Alaska as they are settling in before the big migration to Oregon and Washington where they spend their winters.

Biologists say geese who do not have any young will begin migrating in mid August while the geese with goslings will begin their trip in early to mid September.

"Some geese stay until mid to late September," said Craig Ely, a research wildlife biologist with USGS. "In Anchorage part of goose migration and some who have been around for a while may remember the big AWAX accident we had back in 1995. I was just looking at the dates and that was late September. We actually collected some of those birds and identified them and they actually came from two to three different subspecies from far north Alaska and interior Alaska, so those weren't all residents birds."

Ely said the accident led to quite a bit of research to understand where the birds migrate from and how to get geese and other birds off airport runways.

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