The skies above Freezeout Lake are bustling with activity as the number of birds making their way to this haven continues to soar.

The recent Wild Wings Festival held in Choteau witnessed an impressive sight as more than 40,000 birds were spotted during tours on Saturday, March 23rd, 2024 alone, with over 36,000 geese gracing the scene.

Sanctuary for Wildlife

Freezeout Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA), established in 1953, has evolved into a vital sanctuary for migratory birds.

Comprising the main Freezeout Lake, Priest Butte Lake, and associated ponds, the WMA is meticulously managed to foster waterfowl production and provide ample opportunities for public hunting and viewing.

Additionally, it serves as a habitat for upland game birds, contributing to the rich biodiversity of the region.

Montana Bird Migration

While Freezeout Lake offers year-round access for wildlife viewing, it is the spring snow-goose migration that steals the spotlight.

On peak days, visitors can witness the awe-inspiring sight of up to 60,000 snow geese and 5,000 swans congregating at the WMA.

This migration holds immense significance as these birds traverse thousands of miles from their winter to summer grounds, relying on Freezeout Lake as a vital rest stop and feeding ground.

Waterfowl Resting Point

Freezeout Lake holds a special place in the hearts of migratory birds, particularly snow geese and tundra swans.

As Montana's primary snow goose staging area, it hosts staggering numbers, with up to 300,000 snow geese and 10,000 tundra swans gathering and resting before continuing their journey.

Freezeout Lake marks a crucial waypoint for snow geese as they make their way to breeding grounds in Alberta and central Saskatchewan, Canada.

After a grueling flight nearly 1,000 miles from California, the lake provides much-needed respite and nourishment for these weary travelers.

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