Thursday, 30 October 2014

The Canada Goose on North Ron 9th-11th Oct 2014

We don't see many Canada Geese on North Ron and those which we do see are usually the large, feral British birds. This individual was first seen on 9th Oct with Tundra Bean Geese (among which it clearly looked smaller) and was later seen/photographed with Pink-footed and Barnacle Geese.

 We're novices at the 'small race' Canada Geese and originally considered the bird might have been a Todd's Canada Goose Branta canadensis interior but we're now thinking it's too small and a shorter looking neck has led us to consider Lesser Canada Goose B.c.parvipes and Taverner's Canada Goose B.c.taverneri as possibilities.
Features of note include;
-largely brown breast and flanks with a small whitish collar at the base of the neck
-narrow brown fringes to coverts
-very obvious black gular line
-lower half of chinstrap appears creamy white, brightening to be whiter at the top
-possibly a rounded head shape
-difficult to be certain of the bill size/shape-seems medium sized, possibly too large for taverneri and perhaps a better fit for parvipes
-small overall appearance, size is only slightly larger than Pink-footed Geese with relatively short looking neck (perhaps not long enough for Todd's?) and fairly short looking legs with a similar looking 'carriage' to the Barnacle Geese.

Expert opinion would certainly be appreciated-anyone with much experience of these forms can email us directly at with their thoughts

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