November 24, 2011 | Tips from Travellers >
Richmond, Bird Watching
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What is that noise!? Chances are if you live in Richmond or have been visiting Richmond in the last few weeks you’ve heard the insane amount of squawking going on. Yes, it is none other than the fabled snow geese horde that has taken over the city. (Yes, I call them ‘the horde!’)
Each fall, tens of thousands of snow geese touch down in the Fraser Delta, a huge portion of them landing specifically in Richmond. They breed way up in the Northern tundra’s of Canada and Alaska and migrate South every winter to the warmer climates of the lower mainland. They travel almost 5,000km on their journey to get here and it is quite a sight to see!
For me personally, I welcome the sight of them. I think it’s amazing to walk into a field covered in beautiful white snow geese. It represents the changing of the seasons and is a nature photographers dream! It’s an incredible sight to look up to the sky and see hundreds upon hundreds of white birds flying in formation over the city. I love it!
For others, namely the Vancouver International Airport, the snow geese are a major concern. With the massive amounts of geese flying in they have to be very careful to avoid bird strikes with their jets. To combat this, the airport uses lasers, lights, pyrotechnics, and trained dogs to chase and scare them out of the away from the runways. YVR actually employs three ‘bird officers’ whose sole job is keep the runways clear!
If you’re in Richmond and you can actually find the horde, (It’s difficult! They move around A LOT!) I highly recommend you grab a camera and check them out! Seeing 5,000 white birds dominate a school field is quite a sight! Even better news, if you’re superstitious, you have about 10,000 chances to get pooped on this winter! Think of all the good luck! ;)