Aleutian Cackling Geese seen on Feb 2

Doug Forsell

On Tuesday February 2nd I just saw my first 2 flocks of Aleutian Cackling Geese flying North just south of Point Arena. I think of them as the first spring migrants although they're actually just kind of moving their wintering area a bit north. They usually spend three to four months in the middle Central Valley then in late January to early March they move to the Castle Rock area north of Crescent City and the Southern Oregon area to spend another couple months feeding on coastal grasses. Then they head back to their breeding grounds in April and early May.

Along with Bald Eagles they are one of the most successful stories of the endangered species program using and often pioneering techniques of color banding, predator removal, captive breeding, transplanting, habitat protection, mitochondrial DNA analysis, and restricting hunting of all Canada Geese for several years in in California's Central Valley. Their populations have increased from about 350 birds in the early 1970’s to over 170,000 birds today!


Doug Forsell
707 884-1514