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Birds--General/flight path of Canada geese


I'm curious about the fall migration of Canada geese -what is their flight path? Specifically curious about the ones starting in Alaska or Canada and ending up in northern California or further south in California. I realize they may not all follow the same path but I'm wondering if the path I laid out (below) is conceivable (would at least one group fly to these locations during their fall migration). If not, can you pinpoint certain cities that one group might fly from Alaska or Canada to San Francisco? THANK YOU

Alaska's coastal tundra --> Vancouver, British Columbia --> Seattle, Washington --> Cannon Beach, Oregon (coastal) --> Napa Valley, California --> San Francisco

... is this a possible flight path? (I don't mean that they necessarily stop at these points).

There is one major flyway in the west, the Pacific Flyway, that waterfowl migrate down, but it's only a general concept. Canada Geese as well as other waterfowl generally follow the flyway, but it is several hundred miles in width and the path the geese follow varies a bit with each year. There are different populations of geese as well and some will follow one path and some another. The path you suggest is certainly reasonable, although the next year it might be different. The weather might slow them down or speed them up or push them off their intended path.
The short answer is that migratory pathways are very flexible depending on conditions and the particular population of geese.


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Roger Lederer


Any and all questions about WILD birds - not caged, domestic or poultry. Can answer questions about identification, taxonomy, behavior, courtship, plumage, flight, or anything else. Wild birds only, please.


Taught ornithology (the study of birds) at the university level for 30 years. Have written five books on birds, published 30 scientific articles, write a blog on birds, have the website, lectured to hundreds of groups on birds,and have traveled to 90 countries studying birds.

A variety of ornithological and conservation organizations.

Real Simple Magazine, Enterprise-Record, and several ornithological and ecological journals.

PhD in Zoology with emphasis in ornithology.

Awards and Honors
Professional Achievement Award, Jack Rawlins Chair of Environmental Literach.

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