Images of migrating birds

Migration North

With their “gift of flight,” waterfowl and songbirds have migrated by the millions across Alaska in the spring. Through sheer instinct, they fly thousands of miles to reach their nesting grounds, as countless generations before them have done.

Top-counterclockwise: Just a scene of twilight skies … however, the panorama cut-out below it (brightened for contrast) shows a line of “tiny dots,” which are an estimated 500 plus Sandhill Cranes in formation high over Prince William Sound riding the winds north. (Blown up 400%, about 100 Sandhills are counted just in the leading ‘V’ formation.)

Bottom left: A flock of Greater White-fronted Geese take flight at the moment of decision to continue the migration northward.

Bottom center:  Three Snow Geese mix with a flock of Greater White-fronted Geese as they prepare to land in a tidal marsh in Homer to feed.

Bottom Right:  Canada Geese come in low arriving at a lake for a rest before continuing onward.

Upper right, top center and middle image:  Mixed formations of Canada Geese and Snow Geese pass in front of the moon and pepper the skies across the Chugach Mountains, arriving by the tens of thousands.

Huge flocks of Snow Geese appear like “snow” blanketing the farm fields of the Matanuska Valley, a nutrient rich stop-over for the weary travelers.

The seasonal migrations, northward and southward, are two of nature’s most amazing spectacles!

All images © Dave Parkhurst