Geese Migrating North by the Thousands

CLEAR LAKE,Iowa- This week thousands of geese have been seen over central Iowa, migrating northward. The birds this year, have been coming in waves of thousands overhead.

For now, the flocks are stopping at Clear Lake.

“We have close to 23 inches of ice here and parts of NW Iowa have close to 7 inches of snow,” said Dave Hoffman, Wildlife Research Tech for the Iowa DNR. “So he birds are stacked up and backed up in the Des Moines central Iowa area, those birds are anxious as they move north on their spring migration.”

The birds have been triggered to go north by longer days down on the gulf shores. Some geese are heading for the arctic circle, or even northern Alaska. The large flocks all may look similar, there are different types of birds all traveling together.

“I’m seeing snow geese, white fronts, there’s probably over a dozen species of waterfowl, ducks and geese, and trumpeter swans stopping here at Clear Lake today,” said Hoffman. “So it’s impressive to see this mass migration and stop over.”

Hoffman said the Iowa DNR is researching the spring migration of water fowl in a joint project with Iowa State University.

“I would expect until we get some warmer temperatures we get the snow and ice melted will have these birds around for a week or two,” said Hoffman. “Hoping we can get people out to enjoy these and support wildlife conversation and wetlands.”

If you’d like to check where birds may be migrating in Iowa, click here.