How Far Fly the Geese? Cornwall Ontario Photographer Calvin Hanson Found Out! April 6, 2013

  • Snow Geese - April 2-2013 - Williamstown, Ontario
  • On April 2nd, 2013, while driving the country roads looking for subjects to photograph, I came across an enormous flock of snow geese in a grass field south of Williamstown, Ontario.  I photographed them for 30 minutes.


Snow Goose with Neck Collar PR22 - April 2-2013 - Calvin HansonInterestingly, one of the snow geese in the flock had a yellow neck collar with a character code consisting of four black digits “PR22”.  Spotting this particular snow goose with the neck collar among what appeared to be thousands of other snow geese was pure luck – it was like finding a needle in a haystack.


hanson15131@bell.netI reported the sighting to the Bird Banding Office, and within 24 hours they provided a Certificate of Appreciation, which confirmed and identified the bird as follows:

Species:  Greater Snow Goose

Gender:  Female

Banded:  August 8, 2008

Band numbers:  1847-41363   PR22

Age of Bird:  Hatched in 2007 or earlier

Location:  SW Bylot Island, Nunavut, Canada

Coordinates:  Latitude 73.08333, Longitude –79.91667

Bander:  Dr. Gilles Gauthier, Dept Biologie, Universite Laval, Ste-Foy, Quebec.


  • Canada Goose with Neck Collar H5U1 - November 7th-2009 - Calvin Hanson·        On November 7, 2009, I encountered a similar sighting with a live Canada goose along the St. Lawrence River in Long Sault, Ontario which had an orange neck collar with a character code consisting of four white digits “H5U1” and it also had a visible leg band.  I reported the sighting to the Bird Banding Office and they supplied a Certificate of Appreciation, which identified the bird as follows:

Species:  Canada Goose

Gender:  Female

Banded:  July 10, 2008

Band numbers:  1028-89751   H5U1

Age of Bird:  Hatched in 2007 or earlier

Location:  St. Paul L’Ermite, Quebec, Canada

Coordinates:  Latitude 45.75, Longitude –73.41667

Bander:  Jean Rodrigue, QC-SCF-Sauvagine, Ste-Foy, Quebec.


The following message arrived with the Certificates of Appreciation:

The North American Bird Banding Program

Bird banding is important for studying the movement, survival and behavior of birds. About 60 million birds representing hundreds of species have been banded in North America since 1904.  About 4 million bands have been recovered and reported.


Data from banded birds are used in monitoring populations, setting hunting regulations, restoring endangered species, studying effects of environmental contaminants, and addressing such issues as Avian Influenza, bird hazards at airports, and crop depredations.  Results from banding studies support national and international bird conservation programs such as Partners in Flight, the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, and Wetlands for the Americas.


The North American Bird Banding Program is under the general direction of the U.S. Geological Survey and the Canadian Wildlife Service.  Cooperators include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mexico’s National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity and Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources; other federal, state and provincial conservation agencies; universities; amateur ornithologists; bird observatories; nature centers; nongovernmental organizations such as Ducks Unlimited and the National Audubon Society; environmental consulting firms and other private sector businesses.  However, the most important partner in this cooperative venture is you, the person who voluntarily reported a recovered band.  Thank you for your help.


U.S. Geological Survey

Canadian Wildlife Service


Please Report Bands at or call 1-800-327-BAND

Cornwall Free News


  1. When we lived in Cornwall we loved going to the Upper Canada Bird Migratory Centre and every October they band the birds.

    Here in Ottawa they are full and you see them a great deal along the Rideau River. I think that is one of the very few good things of Ottawa is to see some nature around. We love to walk in the parks and we run into some mallards now and then.

    Snow Geese come from the Arctic so they have mighty long distance to fly and they are very powerful birds and more like animals than birds.

  2. All you people in Cornwall get out there to your lovely parks and enjoy nature. You are so very lucky indeed to have your parks close by. You have the quiet life where the cars are not like here that drive you literally insane and take years off your life. Get out there and enjoy the beautiful nature and there is plenty in Cornwall and the beautiful surrounding town. You are so lucky.

  3. Calvin, lovely work as usual ! Congradulations.

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