Mild Winter Brings Early Spring Migrants

Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area is a premier destination in the PA Highlands to observe large flocks of snow geese, tundra swans and small diving ducks such as bufflehead and golden eye. The PA Game Commission reports that as of February 7 there are over 10,000 snow geese and 2,000 tundra swans gathered at Middle Creek.

The spring migration of waterfowl typically begins at the end of winter (late February-early March) depending on the availability of open water and exposed corn fields. This year the onset of spring migration has already begun due to the lack of ice on rivers and lakes, and the lack of snow cover.

Middle Creek WMA is located in both Lancaster and Lebanon Counties (about 1 mile south of Kleinfeltersville) and features an interactive Visitors Center, nine miles of hiking trails and observation blinds, boating and a self-guided auto tour.

While its thrilling to see several thousand snow geese in one location, biologists are concerned about the population explosion witnessed over the past decade, and the potential impacts the burgeoning numbers of geese may be creating in their arctic nesting grounds.

Photo courtesy of the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

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