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Hi all, 

I photographed a flock of Taverner's CACG several years ago in CO. Recently I have looked back at one of the photos and am now not sure. It is certainly not a straightforward Taverner's with a rather long bill and steep forehead, but I think it could still be one. Or it might be one of those Canada x Cackling-like tweeners. Thoughts? Thanks!

https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/51113651

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I was literally just looking at this exact checklist yesterday or the day before. Agree with Tav, especially for the two pix of the one full bird in the photo. The head, bill, neck and body shape look classic. It's hard to rule out Richy intergrades, as apparently there's a good amount of overlap on the breeding grounds. Not sure about the other birds, particularly the headshot that seems to show a small bill.

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Jack -- I validated that report in 2017, primarily on the strength of the bird depicted in the 2nd photo. That bird is classic Tav, with its almost roman-nose look and rounded crown shape. Unfortunately, not all Tavs present that appearance. I am suspicious of reported Tavs that show too concave of a bill profile, as it has been suggested that Tavs and Richies are mixing in Alaska (?). The bird in the last photo (with the Lesser Canada) is, in my mind, questionable as to parentage. The crown shape seems intermediate between Tav and Richy, and the bill shape is a bit better for Richy. Otherwise, I'm fairly comfortable with the rest being Tavs, with the caveat that subspecies ID is fraught with peril, particularly in Cackling Goose, and even more particularly in the interstices in the Tav-Richy duo.

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3 hours ago, Tony Leukering said:

Jack -- I validated that report in 2017, primarily on the strength of the bird depicted in the 2nd photo. That bird is classic Tav, with its almost roman-nose look and rounded crown shape. Unfortunately, not all Tavs present that appearance. I am suspicious of reported Tavs that show too concave of a bill profile, as it has been suggested that Tavs and Richies are mixing in Alaska (?). The bird in the last photo (with the Lesser Canada) is, in my mind, questionable as to parentage. The crown shape seems intermediate between Tav and Richy, and the bill shape is a bit better for Richy. Otherwise, I'm fairly comfortable with the rest being Tavs, with the caveat that subspecies ID is fraught with peril, particularly in Cackling Goose, and even more particularly in the interstices in the Tav-Richy duo.

Thanks for the info, Tony. On this topic, what do you think of this bird? The observer is a very good birder, but it doesn't stand out to me as much for Tav as much as the 2nd and 3rd pic in Jack's checklist. 

https://www.shorebirder.com/2020/01/a-taverners-cackling-goose-in-rhode.html?m=1

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3 hours ago, akiley said:

This bird from CT might be of interest here. Steve Mlodinow said Tav x Richy.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S54361974

https://ebird.org/checklist/S54361974

That looks like more of a Richardson's to me with the head shape and pale silvery breast. I suppose the bill might be a slightly more chunky/thick than a typical Richardson's (more of a Taverner's look), but in CO I probably wouldn't hesitate calling this a Richardson's. Of course it's hard to say definitively that this isn't an intergrade.

Edited by Phalarope713
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