A preview of the High Plains Snow Goose Festival, Feb. 20-22, 2015.
This weekend I’m heading to Southeast Colorado for the first time. Why am I heading into the vast and desolate plains you ask? Well, for one thing, this area isn’t desolate – far from it. While the human population may be small, the bird population in Southeast Colorado is large. During this time of year about 30,000 snow geese take a break from their migration to hangout in the area around Lamar, Colorado and birders flock to the area to celebrate the High Plains Snow Goose Festival.
And now for a confession; while I love birds of all kinds, I have a lifelong obsession with geese. This prevalent bird simply fascinates me, much to the amusement of my husband, family and friends. I am captivated in the way they communicate, on the ground and in flight, and how they adapt to so many environments (this is especially true of Canadian geese, which have been common to every region in which I have lived).
I have been known to stop while walking my dog and gaze skyward as a flock of Canadian Geese fly overhead. I have attempted many times to analyze their flight patterns. I also wish that I spoke goose in order to know what they honk to each other about.
I have a strong belief that should humans somehow erase themselves from the face of the planet through wars or environmental disaster the earth will still be home to geese (and probably seagulls).
This is my way of explaining why, when I received an invite to cover the High Plains Snow Goose Festival in Lamar, Colorado, my answering was a resounding YES.
This event is in its 13th year and is an opportunity for bird nerds and bird nerd wannabes like me to come together and celebrate our feathery friends. There’s no registration fee for this three-day event that includes guided birding excursions with pros, a nature and crafts fair, a small film festival, a Dutch oven demo, a banquet and other opportunities to gather with other birders.
The festival’s website lists all the activities available, so I won’t go into details here. I can only spend one night in Lamar, but I plan to do a birding outing with Jim Pfitzer at Lamar’s Willow Creek when I get into town on Friday. I will also take part in the Breakfast Raptor Tour on Saturday morning with Jim Pfitzer. Raptors are yet another bird species that I see on a regular basis and find mesmerizing.
I am taking along my husband, even though he laughs at me. I’m excited for him to be exposed to other folks who are as captivated by birds as I am. Plus, he is a useful camera equipment Sherpa.
To learn more about the High Plains Snow Goose Festival visit their informative website at HighPlainsSnowGoose.com.
Interested in other birding festivals around Colorado? Check out my list here.