Skagit Valley Snow Geese

Huge flock of Snow Geese in the Skagit Valley

Snow Geese

Tens of thousands of Snow Geese spend the winter in the Skagit Valley in Northwest Washington state. The sight and sounds of 20,000 geese taking to the air is unbelievable, and I try to make a visit each year to photograph the spectacle. When the birds are startled by an eagle or hunter–or just decide it’s time to move somewhere else–the giant flock swirls into the sky, with a honking din that echoes for miles.

A flock of Snow Geese in front of the Cascade Mountain foothills.

Snow Geese and Cascade Foothills

On a recent outing I found a large flock of geese near Conway, Washington, and spent several hours photographing them. The photo above shows just part of the flock as the birds began to take to the sky in front of some of the lower hills near the Cascade Mountains.

Besides the Snow Geese, Trumpeter Swans also winter in the area and are another interesting bird photography subject. On my recent visit to the area I didn’t find many of the swans where I was, although I could see them flying in the distance. I took the photo below last year. On that visit I didn’t find any geese, but found a huge flock of swans. The Skagit Valley is a great place for a bird watcher or photographer to visit frequently in the winter, as you never know what you’ll find on any given day!

Trumpeter Swans in the Skagit Valley of Northwest Washington state.

Trumpeter Swans

This entry was posted in Skagit Valley, Skagit Wildlife Area, Snow Goose and tagged , , , .


  1. Sue January 6, 2018 at 5:41 pm #

    Beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing on Tweeters.

    • Mike McAuliffe January 6, 2018 at 6:42 pm #

      You are welcome Sue. Glad you enjoyed the photos!

  2. Caroline January 11, 2018 at 10:16 am #

    hi, beautiful photos! would you mind sharing locations to observe and photograph the snow geese? I live in Seattle and am interested in heading up to the Skagit region in the next couple of weeks, any information on locations would be super helpful. Thank you!

    • Mike McAuliffe January 11, 2018 at 2:40 pm #

      Hi Caroline,

      I have been finding the Snow Geese on Fir Island just to the west of I5. Take Exit 221 then head west on Fir Island Road. You pretty much just have to drive around on Fir Island Road and some of the back roads until you see geese taking off or landing, then follow the flock to wherever they are congregating. Hope that helps–let me know if you have more questions.


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