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The Magic of Fall Migration

Posted on September 18, 2020

The story of what happens when we reconnect to the natural world. 

As fall approaches, so does migration season for many bird species – notably, the Canada goose.

Over the coming weeks, an influx of northern nesters from the Hudson Bay Lowlands will meet up with locally breeding geese, for an estimated peak population of 120,000 geese in Winnipeg. That’s a lot of geese.

Despite our sometimes-tense relationship with these plentiful birds, there is no denying they enhance the beauty that is autumn in Manitoba.

And there is certainly no ignoring the amazing spectacle that is the goose migration – especially at FortWhyte Alive, where thousands of geese land on our lakes each evening at sunset.

Two people watching migration at sunset

Migration: A Season of Change

Much like the falling leaves, the movement of birds en masse is a sure sign of seasonal change. As the humid heat of summer is replaced with crisp fall air, the iconic flying “v”-formation of Canada geese becomes a common sight overhead.

At this time of year, change is everywhere. Wildlife is on the move. Trees shed their leaves. And for our species, it’s an equally big time of change. We too migrate back to school and work, start new regimens, and modify our schedules to accommodate the shorter, cooler days.

Plant or animal, autumn is a time of movement, and transformation. And we are a part of it.

At this time of year, change is everywhere.

Reconnect with Nature

Year after year, thousands join us to take some time out on a crisp, autumn evening to witness and experience the magic of fall migration. The lakes of FortWhyte Alive truly come alive with the spirit of autumn. It’s one thing to read about migration patterns or marvel at beautiful photographs of geese landing at sunset, but it’s another thing to experience the fall migration – to gather in a community at the lakeshore to witness a force of nature that is undeniably big.

A Sensory Experience

What many may not realize is that experiencing migration is a sensory experience. The sight of a stunning sunset. The smell of crisp, autumn air. The unmistakable sound of thousands of landing geese. The magic of fall migration is that it allows us to truly connect – or reconnect – with the rhythms of the natural world.

Silhouettes of geese fly over the lake at sunset

Reconnect — to Create Change

The annual migration is an incredible spectacle, one that everyone should have the opportunity to experience firsthand. It can serve to remind us how resilient nature can be and, at the same time, help remind us of our visceral connection with the planet. From this place of connection, we are better equipped to understand the environmental challenges we collectively face – and work toward creative solutions to complex problems like climate change.

Watch the Sky Speak

So, what are you waiting for? The show is already beginning. Get outside to catch a glimpse of one of the most remarkable phenomena in all of nature. Reconnect with nature and watch the sky speak as thousands of geese land after sunset in this breathtaking display.

  • Sunset Goose Flights
    Witness and experience the magic of fall migration with Sunset Goose Flights, Wednesday to Sunday, until October 21.
  • Goose Flight Feasts
    Or book your Goose Flight Feast to enjoy lakeside views of the setting sun and thousands of migrating geese, complemented by a three-course dinner artfully prepared by the Buffalo Stone Café.

Come for the Migration, Stay for the Magic

We believe that the act of spending time in nature allows us to remember that we are not outside of nature, but we are nature. By spending time in nature, you are creating the change we all want to see.

That’s the real magic of migration.

We truly believe that exploringlearning and connecting with nature is how we can create change in the world. People like you make it all possible. If you’ve been waiting to join us for a visit, there’s never been a better time than now.