The Zoo is home to two snow geese. One male snow goose arrived in 2013. His date of birth is unknown and he has a wing injury. The other is an adult of unknown sex who came from a local rehabber in 2015 after suffering a wing injury. Both can be found in the the pond along the Genesee Trail.
International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List status: Least Concern. The snow goose is protected under the United States Migratory Bird Act. The population is increasing at an estimated rate of 130,000 birds per year, possibly due to warming conditions in the Arctic breeding grounds. Periodic hunting has been established to help curb the growing population. About 400,000 birds are now hunted annually in the U.S. and Canada.
They have quite an expansive geographical range. In March, they head North over the New England states, resting in the St. Lawrence River area. They then continue northward over central Quebec, Canada to their destinationin the northeast Arctic. The breeding grounds cover the area from northern Baffin Island, BathurstIsland, Ellesmere Island and northwest Greenland. The southwest coast of Bylotis the location of the main nesting colony. Their main wintering grounds are along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Texas between the Mississippi delta and Corpus Christi, Texas. However, in recent years colonies have been seen in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Iowa. Smaller numbers are found in eastern Mexico and southern New Mexico.
Snow geese are herbivores and eat roots, leaves, grasses and sedges. They have strong bills for digging up roots in thick mud. Their most common food source in their northern breeding grounds is American bulrush.