Snow geese may help provide a touch of white Christmas in western Missouri


Winter brings large flocks of snow geese to western Missouri. These geese were at MDC’s Schell Osage Conservation Area on Dec. 20. Photo Courtesy: Bill Graham, Missouri Department of Conservation

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The chance of snow this Christmas holiday isn’t in the forecast for the Kansas City area this year with warm weather and little to no precipitation expected.

However, a touch of white for the holidays is possible at wetlands and lakes as snow geese by the thousands are visiting western Missouri this month.

The Artic-nesting geese have made their annual migration from the north. They rest in huge flocks on open water, sometimes rising in loud honking swirls of white and gray, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation. The geese fly back and forth from feeding areas when not resting.

About 164,000 snow geese were counted on Dec. 20 at the Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge in Holt County, north of St. Joseph. Those numbers indicate that snow geese are likely visiting other waters in northwest Missouri.

Also on Dec. 20, flocks of snow geese were resting on Atkinson Lake at MDC’s Schell Osage Conservation Area in Vernon County, south of Kansas City. Cold weather moves the geese south and they edge back north during warmups.

A winter bonus is that large _ and quite white _ trumpeter swans also can be spotted at various lakes and wetlands in western Missouri, according to MDC.

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