Maps track Snow Goose movements

Snow Goose at Bosque del Apache NWR. Photo by Ray Robles

Subscribe to BirdWatching today for birding tips, bird news, and more! 

In On the Move, our regular column about migration, we present pairs of distribution maps from eBird that you can use to compare where interesting birds are at different times of year. We featured Snow Goose, pictured above, in our April 2017 issue.

Snow Goose

eBird Maps for Snow Goose
Snow Goose records for April 2005-2015 (left) and July 2005-2015.

Snow Goose numbers have grown remarkably over the last several decades. The combination of a large population size and a grubbing foraging style has led to concern about the bird’s breeding and wintering habitats, some of which have been seriously damaged. Snow Geese winter mainly in the lower 48 and in parts of northern Mexico (left map). Important strongholds are marshes along the Atlantic Coast from Massachusetts south to the Carolinas, in the southern Great Plains, along the Gulf Coast, and in the Central Valley of California. The goose breeds north of the tree line in northern Alaska and across much of northern Canada, from Yukon east to Quebec (right map). Watch for flocks streaming high overhead on spring and fall days with particularly favorable tail winds.

See e-Bird’s real-time distribution map for Snow Goose 

eBird is the real-time online checklist operated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon. “On the Move” is written by eBird’s Garrett MacDonald, Chris Wood, Marshall Iliff, and Brian Sullivan. Submit your bird sightings at

A version of this article appeared in “Birding Briefs” in the April 2017 issue of BirdWatching. Subscribe


Read our newsletter!

Sign up for our free e-newsletter to receive news, photos of birds, attracting and ID tips, and more delivered to your inbox every other week. Sign up now

See the contents of our current issue

How to subscribe to BirdWatching