Snow Geese in the Skagit Valley
Snow Geese and Mount Baker

Snow Geese in the Skagit Valley

Photographing the Snow Geese in the Skagit Valley in northwest Washington is one of my annual “must do” photography trips. 50,000 or more of these noisy white geese spend every winter in the relatively warm (compared to their Arctic breeding grounds) waters and fields about 90-minutes north of Seattle. This year it took me three trips to find a flock to photograph. Early in the winter during hunting season they seem to hang out on the water instead of in the fields where hunters can find them.

A highlight when viewing these birds is when a flock is startled by an eagle (or unfortunately a hunter) and takes flight in a noisy swirling blizzard. Several thousand birds at a time take to the sky in a white wave that swirls above and around you, honking noisily. The photo below shows just a small part of a flock taking off when a bald eagle flew over.

A blizzard of Snow Geese taking flight in the Skagit Valley in northwest Washington.
Blizzard of Snow Geese

The photo below is a closeup shot of a single Snow Goose. The birds are fairly tolerant of humans as long as you aren’t a hunter with a gun. This shot was taken with a telephoto lens so I was definitely giving the birds some space but they will let you get fairly close for some photos.

Snow Goose

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