The great migration of songbirds is mostly over, and the “pretty birds” have moved on to their northern breeding grounds. Several people have commented on what an amazing spring it was this year, with so many migrants congregating in backyards everywhere.
Apparently the extreme cold weather and snow we had back in April stalled the migration, with birds piling up just south of us, waiting for better weather and northerly winds. Elsewhere the migration stalled where extreme flooding occurred in Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska.
As we returned north from Texas through the Plaines states in late April, we just missed the massive concentration of waterfowl that had briefly taken up residence in Loess Bluffs wildlife refuge in northwestern Missouri. It wasn’t easy to get to the refuge because there was flooding with road closures all around it. The refuge itself was also flooded, but we could still drive part way around it.
A month earlier, the refuge had an enormous population of Snow Geese stopover for refueling on their northward migration. The Kansas City Star newspaper reported that on March 5, there were about 20 Snow Geese on the refuge, and a week later there were 1.3 MIllion! Imagine the mess 1.3 million Geese would leave behind. Maybe it’s a good thing the water levels were so high.
We made a sunset drive through the refuge and spotted a few of the residents.