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McConnell River Project

Charles MacInnes established a research study at McConnell River, Northwest Territories (now Nunavut) in 1958 on small Canada geese and expanded it to a snow goose study in 1964 which ran continuously until 1975. The project produced seminal work on the ecology of both species, and for snow geese these include the energetics of breeding, feeding ecology, family and social behaviour, and interchange of individuals among colonies.

Snow Goose Breeding Biology

In 1952, Graham Cooch established the first modern studies of the breeding biology of snow geese. He conducted ground studies on the west coast of Hudson Bay, Southampton Island, and Baffin Island. He pioneered the study of almost every aspect of their biology, including color morphs, genetics, pairing and reproductive behaviour, annual variation and habitats. He conducted the first quantitative surveys of lesser snow goose population size in the eastern arctic and he adapted Inuit techniques for summer harvest of flightless geese to the purpose of mass banding for studies of migration and winter distribution.

Snow Goose Colony Discovered

A small colony of nesting snow geese at Cape Henrietta Maria was reported by Robert Smith in 1944 and photographed by Harold Hanson in 1947. Smith also reported nesting on Akimiski Island, in southern James Bay, at the same time. The Cape Henrietta Maria colony is the largest aggregation of snow geese in southern Hudson Bay and the Akimiski colony is the southernmost snow goose colony in the world.