Snow Geese, Part 2

In yesterday’s post (Snow Geese, Part 1), I posted an image showing the large number of Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens) at the Squaw Creek NWR in northwestern Missouri. Seeing this large number of geese (~390,000) in one place is quite a sight, but still nothing like seeing the entire group explode into a “blast off”! The blast off normally occurs whenever something scares the geese, like a Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) swooping down out of the sky, near the geese. This post illustrates the wonderful experience of being there whenever a blast off occurs. And experiencing a blast off really works on one’s senses … seeing the sky fill with black/white blurs, and having the noise level sharply rise in decibels! 

In this first image, the Snow Geese have just begun their blast off. You can see a large number of geese still sitting on the ice … but don’t worry, they will be in the air shortly:

Snow Geese starting to "blast off"

In this next image, most (if not all) of the Snow Geese have taken to the friendly skies:

Snow Goose "blast off"

And while the group was in the air, I decided to play with some blur images of the group. These were taken by lowering my ISO setting to 50, and increasing the depth of field (setting the Aperture to f/45), allowing me to shoot at 1/8 second (handheld). Here is the best image obtained. By the way, I’m usually not really enamored with intentional blur shots, but personally witnessing a blast off, with the sky filled with birds flashing past, I felt it mandatory to do some:

Snow Goose "blast off" blur

For my Twitter friends, I think I could have aptly posted today’s post as my “Wings on Wednesday” post :o)

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