• • •Snow Geese descend by the thousands, dropping from the sky to blanket lakes and fields in white and fill the air with their raucous honking. They arrive on the Gulf Coast in the fall and winter after nesting in huge colonies in the Arctic Tundra over the summer.
While most are white, there is a dark morph called a “Blue Goose” and everything between the two. Their bills are pink with a dark “smile” through it. In flight, the ends of their wings are dipped in black. Ross’s Goose is a downsized version of a Snow Goose with a shorter, stubbier bill. A large flock of Snow Geese will typically have a small number of Ross’s Geese in the mix. The variety arriving on the Texas coast is the “Lesser” Snow Goose. A larger, “Greater” version winters on the East Coast.
Snow Geese are vegetarians that will eat almost any part of a plant from the seeds stems and leaves to roots and tubers pulled from the ground or marsh. They eat grasses of all types and forage in agricultural fields, nibbling the stems of young plants and anything left over from the previous crop.
When alerted to a potential threat, they fly up en masse.