iN VIDEO: Lost snow goose sticks out among Canada geese in West Kelowna | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?

Current Conditions Light Rainshower  9.6°C

Kelowna News

iN VIDEO: Lost snow goose sticks out among Canada geese in West Kelowna

A snow goose flies beside a Canada goose in Clinton.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Amanda Nelson

A snow goose has joined a flock of Canada geese spending time at the Gellatly Nut Farm in West Kelowna these days.

The historic park is a popular place filled with nut tree groves and is located close the beach on Okanagan Lake.

While huge flocks of Canada geese are a common thing to see at the park, a much less ordinary sight is a wild, white snow goose waddling among them.

“They’re not nearly as common as Canada geese and don’t typically travel the Interior of the province,” said Kurtis Huston at Wildbirds Unlimited in Kamloops.

While overwintering Canada geese are common in Kamloops and the Okanagan, snow geese typically migrate into the far north during the spring to breed, and their migratory routes are well established along the coast or east of the Rocky Mountains.

“During migration snow geese travel with thousands of geese but if this guy got caught up in a group of Canada geese, he may have chosen to stay with them to overwinter instead of completing his full migration last fall, or he may have come up with a flock of Canada geese this spring.” 

READ MORE: Why protecting what's left of wetlands in Kamloops, Okanagan matters

Huston said migration anomalies occur but it is seen more often with other bird species like hummingbirds who often wonder off the migration path and end up where they shouldn’t be.

“Many species of birds follow migration patterns migrating north, east of the Rockies but every once in awhile in the fall or spring you find them on this side of the mountains staying with a different species, it could be from a health issue or they’ve lost their group.”

READ MORE: iN PHOTOS: Western painted turtles spotted sunning themselves in Kamloops, Okanagan

Snow geese and Canada geese are a related species and when it isn’t breeding season neither species will fight unless there is a direct competition for a very specific food source. When it is time to breed the geese will pair off and fight for nesting territory.

Huston said hybridizing of bird species can happen, however it is unlikely the offspring will be fertile.

When asked what he predicts will happen with the snow goose, Huston said it’s impossible to know.

READ MORE: Shuswap llama sanctuary getting ready to welcome cats

“This goose will either stick around all season or there is a chance it’ll migrate north on its own.”

A couple of days ago Clinton resident Amanda Nelson saw a snow goose among a flock of Canada geese in her neighbourhood and captured a photo of the two species flying side by side.

“It was the first time for me seeing these species together and I was so happy to capture it," she said. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. SUBSCRIBE to our awesome newsletter here.

News from © iNFOnews, 2024

  • Popular kamloops News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile