Flock of geese at Gunnison Bend Reservoir

Watch the sky turn white at annual Delta Snow Goose Festival

Delta — It's a sight you have to see to believe: Thousands of geese lifting off Gunnison Bend Reservoir amid honks and the beating of wings. If you want to see the incredible spectacle yourself, head to the annual Delta Snow Goose Festival later this month.

The festival, hosted by the Delta Chamber of Commerce, will be held Feb. 21–22 at Gunnison Bend Reservoir, west of Delta. Part of the festival includes a free snow goose viewing event hosted by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

As many as 20,000 geese — mostly snow geese — have been at the reservoir during past festivals. Except for the black tips on their wings, snow geese are completely white. DWR biologists will set up spotting scopes, so you can get a close look at the geese, and they will also be available to provide information about the birds.

Flock of geese at Gunnison Bend Reservoir

Photo credit: Lynn Chamberlain

Flock of geese at Gunnison Bend Reservoir

Photo credit: Lynn Chamberlain

"Wildlife watching is a fun activity for the whole family," DWR Regional Outreach Manager Phil Tuttle said. "We encourage you to come out and see these amazing birds in flight."

The areas where you'll see the geese vary according to the time of the day. If you arrive in Delta early in the morning, you can watch the geese feeding in fields that surround the reservoir. Then, between 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., the geese take off and fly back to the reservoir.

"That's an exciting time to be there," Tuttle said. "All those thousands of geese in flight make for incredible photos, and watching and hearing the geese take off can take your breath away."

After landing on the reservoir, the geese usually spend the next few hours there. Then, sometime between 4–6 p.m., the birds take off again and fly back to the fields. DWR biologists will watch which fields the geese fly to. If you arrive after the geese have left the reservoir, the biologists will direct you to the fields where the geese are feeding.

Try to bring your own binoculars or spotting scope to view the geese because if you get too close to the birds, you could scare them away.

If you pull off the road to view the geese, pull as far off the road as you can. Be prepared for cold, wet weather and dress in layers that will help you stay warm and dry.

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