Higher fliers

As I walked out the door earlier today, things were very quiet, except for many, many almost-subliminal calls coming from overhead.  As I looked up and searched for the source, I was finally able to find it: Literally thousands of birds were  flying in broad U-formations, so high that they were just barely discernible to the naked eye; my best guess is that they were between a mile and a half and two miles above the ground.   Snow geese 894I made this photo at 52 mm and cropped to 10% of the 18.7-MB original to bring you this image. I shot it in RAW format to bring out all the detail possible, but each individual bird is so small that not much can be seen when greatly enlarged.  There is enough, however, for me to be quite certain that they were snow geese, which are known to fly very high, riding the thermals, and in these formations, rather than the chevron patterns preferred by Canada geese and pelicans, both of which I also considered before doing considerable research.  What an amazing experience–I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many birds in a migratory group except possibly for the sandhill cranes that fly along the Platte River in central Nebraska, and I haven’t seen them for years.  But that’s another story…


About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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8 Responses to Higher fliers

  1. cindy knoke says:

    Arent’ they wonderful! They stay down here for the winter.

  2. neihtn2012 says:

    I have also seen them like that, thousands of them, coming wave after wave against a bright blue sky.

  3. I didn’t know that snow geese fly so high and form a curve rather than a V. Live and learn.

    Did you not have a telephoto lens handy that would have let you zoom in closer? (I realize there might not have been enough time for you to get a longer lens and attach it.)

    • krikitarts says:

      No, there wasn’t time, which is why I explained that I shot it at 52mm to get their flight formations, then picked out the most interesting ssegment and cropped, to try to get some detail of the individual birds. If I were to post the whole frame, you’d be hard- pressed to pick out much of anything. I didn’t have the longer lens handy because I never expected to see any flying so amazingly high.

  4. Adrian Lewis says:

    Wonderful spectacle – and the photo does it justice. A

    • krikitarts says:

      That’s kind of you, but I don’t know that I can quite agree with your second comment. As Steve brought up, it I’d had my 70-300 readily available, I could have managed some shots with much greater detail, but in this case, it was mainly the spectacle of so many birds in a mass migration that I wanted to portray. Thanks a lot for your approval!

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