Flocks of snow geese winter on Skagit River delta

LA CONNER, Wash. (AP) - Bird watchers took advantage of a day without rain Thursday to gaze at snow geese that spend the winter at a reserve near the mouth of the Skagit River.

Thousands of the white birds were in sight along with a few trumpeter swans and snowy owls.

The geese fly in loose "V" formations that break up into family groups of three _ two parents and an offspring _ as they glide to a landing. They spend most of their time foraging in muddy fields.

The birds honk a bit and occasionally flap their wings. Occasionally a bald eagle scares them into the air in a dramatic beating of their wings and loud honking.

The snow geese usually settle back down in the same field within just a few minutes.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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