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Don't Miss Utah Birding: Delta Snow Goose Festival

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The Delta Snow Goose Festival is the best opportunity in Utah to see massive flocks of waterfowl, an amazing spring migration spectacle. The 2014 festival is February 21-22, so it's time to take flight to see the snow geese!

About the Snow Goose

The snow goose (Chen caerulescens) is the star of the festival, for good reason. These geese spend the winter in California, along the Gulf Coast and in some inland areas of the Great Plains, but in late winter they head north to their breeding grounds in the Arctic. They pass through Utah on migration, congregating in flocks of thousands, even hundreds of thousands, along their journey. Delta is one such congregation area, where the Pacific and Central migration flyways merge and bring together spectacular numbers of these geese.

The geese are mostly white, but have black tips on their primary feathers that can be seen even when the birds are perched, standing or swimming. Their legs are orange, reddish, or reddish-pink, and the orange bill has a long triangular shape with a black "grin patch" along the edge.

These are very noisy geese with different honking and grunting calls. In their huge migration flocks, the noise can be overwhelming!

About the Festival

While the geese are the highlight of this festival, there are other activities to celebrate the spectacle. Visitors can enjoy a Wild Goose Chase 5K or 10K run, the Dunk, Dunk, Goose plunge into Gunnison Bend Reservoir, a quilt show, an arts and crafts fair, and the Wild Goose Skeet Shoot marksmanship competition. The bird observations and runs are held at the reservoir, the craft fair and quilt show are held at the Millard County Fair Grounds, and the skeet shoot is at the Delta shooting range. There is no admission to the festival, and food vendors will also be available.

Getting to Delta

To get to Delta, take I-15 south from Utah County. Visitors can choose to take U.S. 6 west from Santaquin or UT-132 west from Nephi until it intersects U.S. 6 to lead into Delta. To get to the fair grounds, turn east (left) from U.S. 6 at Main Street, but to reach the reservoir turn west (right) and follow Main Street to S 2000 W, then turn right to the reservoir.

For more information about the festival, visit DeltaGooseFestival.com.

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