Most of the U.S.’s eastern population of Snow Geese has been wintering along Atlantic Coast from Massachusetts to South Carolina, and will breed in the subarctic and arctic tundra near the coast. These Snow Geese depart North Carolina and Virginia for Delaware Bay mid- to late February. After resting and refueling at Delaware Bay, they depart and migrate through western Connecticut, the Hudson River, and Lake Champlain throughout March and early April, stopping to rest and refuel along the way at various locations (referred to as staging areas). Most Snow Geese arrive at their Arctic breeding grounds by mid- to late May.
During spring migration, flocks of family groups and individuals migrate both day and night. These flocks consist of anywhere from 35 to 400 birds. Many factors influence the timing and duration of spring migration from year to year, including inconsistencies of weather and the availability of food at stopover…
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Snow fleas, a species of springtail, are not a type of flea. Neither are they insects, though they are close relatives. During most of the year they live in the soil and leaf litter, consuming fungi and decaying vegetation. On warm winter days they appear on the surface of the snow, and are often described as “pepper on snow” due to their black color and tiny size (1 – 2 millimeters long).
Although they lack wings, they have two tail-like spring projections, or furcula, which are held like a spring against the bottom of their abdomen by a kind of latch. When the snow flea wants to move, the furcula springs downward, catapulting the snowflea as far as 100 times its body length. Snowfleas in the genus Hypogastrura possess three pinkish anal sacs which are usually located inside the snowflea, hidden from view. Just before jumping the snowflea everts these…
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