Archived Story

Flock migration

Published 4:26am Monday, November 18, 2013 Updated 6:27am Monday, November 18, 2013

Fergus Falls has always been a home for geese.

This time of year, however, the local resident geese have lots of visitors.

Between the Otter Tail River levee in the center of town to Lake Alice, Hoot Lake, sections of the Otter Tail River on the west end of town, Carlisle and Orwell Dam, an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 geese make the Fergus Falls area their temporary home before migrating further south for the winter, according to Don Schultz DNR area wildlife supervisor.

The levee, which contains power-plant-warmed water and is a refuge from hunters, is a particularly attractive landing spot.

Schultz estimated 4,000 to 5,000 geese could be swimming on the levee at any time, though he couldn’t, of course, provide an accurate number.

“The best thing to do would be to go in the evening and count as the birds land,” Schultz said.

The mid-November arrival of migrant geese is later than it used to be. Schultz said migrant geese had arrived in October.

He credits the later arrivals to the warm falls, as well as attractive refuges farther north, including several near Winnipeg.

Schultz said the migrant geese will likely stick around until the snow covers the farm fields.

And some, of course, will remain here permanently.

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