Tip #20. Monitor migrations

Tip #20. Monitor migrations

No matter where you live waterfowl should be passing through in the spring and fall. In the spring birds are heading north to their summer nesting grounds. In the fall they are headed south to avoid the harsh winters of the Northland. Here in the Midwest it is important to know both migration times and routes. This photograph was taken in early spring about 20 miles from where I live. I monitor this slough on a near daily basis as my window of opportunity to photograph is usually less than two weeks as the ducks and geese stop through on their migration north. Although we get few Sandhill Cranes in Iowa, you can get great images of thousands of them in Central Nebraska in early spring and then again in late fall. They tend to spend more time in the early spring passing through than the fall. Many preserves parks update their websites daily when the migration is occurring. I often use these to plan our vacations and travels. For instance, last fall Sham and I made reservations months in advance to be at Bosque Del Apache in Central New Mexico in early November for the height of the return of the Sandhill Cranes and Ross Geese. Keep in mind migrations times may vary slightly with the weather. I’ve seen Snow Geese spend a few weeks here in the spring if the Northland is colder than normal, and I’ve seen them fly straight through if the conditions are right up north.