Never before have I seen anything like the morning flight of the Snow Geese (Chen Caerulescens) from Bosque del Apache. There were so many birds that they appeared to blanket the ground in the white snow for which they are so aptly named. Dozens of Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis) huddled together in the middle of the enormous white flock. As the sun rose and blanketed them all with a rosy golden glow, the frenzy of flight began. Geese started to wing their way from the ground in what seemed like an endless stream of honking. Every once in a while the cranes would embark as well in smaller groups of two or three. Birds passed overhead so close I could see the glint in their eyes; I could hear the swishing of their powerful wings. Even now, days later, I still can still hear the honking and the wingbeats and when I close my eyes, I can see the snowstorm. I have seen many incredible things in my life, but this was a sight like no other. If this was a harbinger of things to come, 2018 will be spectacular.
Bosque del Apache NWR, New Mexico
January 1, 2018