- Associated Press - Friday, April 4, 2014

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - State officials in Fairbanks have taken steps to welcome Canada geese while directing them away from airplanes and jets at Fairbanks International Airport.

Airport crew members on Wednesday plowed paths in fields at Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge ahead of the first Canada geese of the season, hoping the cleared area will draw birds away from runways and grassy areas near tarmacs.

Creamer’s Field is easily accessible on the north side of Fairbanks. Spring migration draws hundreds of spectators viewing geese and sandhill cranes in an annual rite of spring for winter-weary residents.

Steering birds away from aircraft is another benefit, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (https://bit.ly/1lEICO0) reported. The early-season snow removal is part of a cooperative agreement between the airport and the Department of Fish and Game.

Members of the Borealis Kiwanis on Saturday will provide an extra incentive for geese to land at the refuge. Club members will spread 4,000 pounds of barley on refuge fields to give geese something to eat.

The first Canada goose showed up at Creamer’s Field last year on April 3. None were in sight as of mid-week.

“I’m guessing April 12,” said refuge manager Laurie Boeck at the nearby Alaska Department of Fish and Game office.

Canada geese usually arrive a week after reaching Clearwater Lake in Delta Junction. Boeck said she had heard no reports of geese at the location about 100 miles south of Fairbanks.

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Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, https://www.newsminer.com

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