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Drought gives migrating geese fewer options

By David Knopf/Richmond News

More than one county resident has remarked on what at least appears to be an unusually large number of Canada geese in the area this winter, particularly at Ray County Lake.

They’d be right on one count, but a little less so on the other.

Tammy Pierson, the Missouri Department of Conservation agent in Ray County, said migrating geese often make temporary homes here each winter. However, with the impact of the drought on smaller ponds and private lakes, geese have fewer options for open water and suitable habitats.

“Ray County is a large lake and it’s harder to freeze over,” Pierson said. So “It’s not unusual to have a congregation like that.”

Geese have also taken up winter residence at a lake on private property, Pierson said, opposite the Pigg’s Landing entrance west of Orrick.

The population of geese on those two bodies of water may be greater than in other winters, but only because the drought left many smaller farm ponds dry or depleted.

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