We had a surprise snow goose visitor here a couple of days ago. She was palling around with a pair of Canada geese:

According to whatbird.com, a group of geese has many collective nouns, including a “blizzard”, “chevron”, “knot”, “plump”, and “string” of geese. We often see large blizzards of snow geese here over the winter, but they’ve been gone for several weeks now.

It was when I saw the two together that I realized the significant size difference between the species:

Wherever the pair of Canada geese would go, the little snow goose would follow:

Snow geese migrate north for the summer and breed in the Arctic regions of North America and eastern Siberia. I can’t help but wonder how our little surprise visitor was left behind.

No matter now. I’m sure her friendly Canadian cousins will take care of her until she’s reunited with her snow goose family.

3/1/13 update: Our surprise visitor wasn’t a snow goose, but rather a Ross’s Goose. http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/293/_/Rosss_Goose.aspx. Thank you, Patrick C!