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Friday, September 2, 2011

Ready, steady, goose! Spectacular sight as 1.3MILLION birds take flight at the same time - creating an instant migration


Snow goose: The bird is known for its white plumage and black wingtips. It is also known as the blue goose because of a blue-grey variation of its colour. The white and blue 'morphs' of the species interbreed and can create offspring of either colour

Have a gander at this amazing image - taken as 1.3million geese spectacularly take flight all at once - creating the illusion it is snowing.

The stunning display of nature was captured by photographer Mike Hollingshead as he spent 22 days observing the huge gaggle at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, in northwestern Missouri, this spring.

In one image, every inch of the landscape as far as the eye can see is packed with the white and grey birds. Another shows the sky blackened by the geese taking flight as they return to their natural summer breeding ground of central Canada.

Artificial horizon: Photographer Mike Hollingshead captures the amazing moment when up to 1.3million snow geese continue their migration at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, in northwestern Missouri

The amazing spectacle occurs when gaggles of Snow Geese converge on the Central Flyway migration route - with the national park acting as an important stopover on the 70-hour, 2,500-mile flight.

Mr Hollingshead, 35, from Blair, Nebraska, quit his job at a factory in 2004 to take up storm chasing - where photographers follow large supercells that can form destructive tornadoes.

Don't bother counting: An estimated 1.3million snow geese gather at the reserve, which is a former hunting ground and now an important stop-over during their 2,500-mile flight to their breeding grounds in Canada

But he takes time out each spring to capture a storm of a different kind - the majestic migration of these wonderful birds.

He said: 'At times it can definitely look like there is a snow shower on the horizon. Your brain can be tricked into seeing nothing but the patterns of the birds flying because it can't see anything else.

source: dailymail


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