Some people are wondering why they are seeing flocks of Canadian Geese flying north at this time of the year. Isn’t it a little late in the season?
Last week while I was listening to the Phenology Show on KAXE, they were talking about this subject. Canadian Geese go through a molt in the summertime where they lose their flight feathers. They are unable to fly during this time. This is called eclipse plumage and most waterfowl go through this stage. It replaces the breeding plumage after the breeding season and tends to be much duller than normal plumage. This makes sense if you are a duck without fully working flight feathers and want to keep hidden from any predators.
Evidently young Canadian Geese that are too young to breed will fly north to find a pond or lake where they feel comfortable enough to wait out this period of time.
The phenology show can be heard at KAXE on Tuesday mornings at 7:00 a.m. at 91.7 on FM radio. Or you can listen anytime by downloading the archive at their website.