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Southern Ontario a few days ago.

I think Cackling is my nemesis bird. It took me a long time to find a definitive one (the ultra stubby bill ones are easy) but the others are a challenge.

For a week or so birders have been reporting Cacklers at this location (fairly small sewage lagoons), but with no photos - all readily accepted by eBird based on the typical description but no backup photos (Cackling are now tagged for time of year). There was definitely a group for a day or two - these were definitely Cackling but I thought they moved out.

At the same hour as others were reporting a couple of days ago I scoured what was there and these were my best candidates (the ones flying did appear different at the time) but my posting with photos was not accepted by eBird. All the other reports without photos were accepted.

Today was the same - I didn't see anything better than these photos. I even looked through the scope of some birders posting Cacklers today, which were later accepted (again without photos).

I don't envy the job of eBird reviewers.

I may have to do a specialist course on these birds, although I have done a lot of reading including the posts by our west coast sub-species experts, but probably time for me to review the previous material...

..or for an easy life just stick to the stubby billed ones, probably the best option.

Thanks.

PS. It would be comforting to know that it is not just me that has this problem.

 

 

 

Cackling Goose group EcoP-7509432.jpg

Cackling Goose group if EcoP-7509287.jpg

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Gotta love the ones that don’t fit perfectly.  The far right one has the small bill and large, indented white patch.  So the two far left and one next to it have a good case for Cackler also based on size.  The eBird team in Michigan says we should not expect to see parvipes Canada Geese here.  That is the only other option I can see for the two you can see for the two with bills showing.  It doesn’t look like parvipes is even an eBird option anymore.  

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1 hour ago, Seanbirds said:

These all look like cacklers to me. I don't know what's up with those eBird reveiwers.

 

36 minutes ago, Avery said:

I think the small goose is a cackler. Not sure about the others. It’s just barely bigger than the nearby mallards!

 

17 minutes ago, chipperatl said:

Gotta love the ones that don’t fit perfectly.  The far right one has the small bill and large, indented white patch.  So the two far left and one next to it have a good case for Cackler also based on size.  The eBird team in Michigan says we should not expect to see parvipes Canada Geese here.  That is the only other option I can see for the two you can see for the two with bills showing.  It doesn’t look like parvipes is even an eBird option anymore.

Just to say you have all brightened up my day considerably. I would have been happy with a confirmation of just one of these birds.

As many as 25 Cacklers have been accepted by eBird over the last couple of days, all without photos. Mine are still languishing in eBird purgatory. Our County reviewers don't contact for follow-up, just leave the posting until you notice and then provide further supporting evidence.

I have to admit I'm a little paranoid about posting inaccurate IDs so I always try to add a photo - a slight twist on "no good deed goes unpunished" maybe.

@chipperatl, love the detailed feedback - you have spurred me on, more research in the immediate future.

 

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44 minutes ago, chipperatl said:

It doesn’t look like parvipes is even an eBird option anymore.  

It is not. It is not subsumed in the canadensis Group entry. However, there are other smaller CANG subspecies, though none that go through MI are as small as Lesser.

The other problem is Richardon's/Taverner's x Lesser. Unfortunately, these seem not to be rare.

Edited by Tony Leukering
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