Jump to content
Whatbird Community
Sign in to follow this  
Phalarope713

Cackling Goose Subspecies

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

I was sorting through a flock of mostly Richardson's Cackling a few days ago along the Front Range in Colorado and noticed a few interesting birds. Thoughts? Thanks!

Bird #1: Maybe just an aberrant Richardson's, but slightly darker with a slim, un-indented cheek patch and prominent gular stripe.

Bird #2: Noticeably larger and heftier than surrounding Richardson's with a noticeable neck collar and hint of a gular stripe.

Bird #3 (photos 3-5): Looks similar to an Aleutian I photographed here several years ago. Noticeably darker, orangey chested, larger than Richardson's with an un-indented cheek patch and very prominent gular stripe.

 

DSC_5688.JPG

DSC_5690.JPG

DSC_5694.JPG

DSC_5707.JPG

DSC_5692.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not gonna give any firm answers here, just some impressions. I don't feel confident putting a name on these birds, but certainly others might be.

1. The cheek patch and chin stripe look like Aleutian, but otherwise looks like Richardson's to me.

2. Shape, size, and white collar suggest Aleutian but white cheek patch would be unusually large for Aleutian.

3. Long neck, head and bill shape seem more like Taverner's Cackling or Lesser Canada to me. Or perhaps Taverner's x Richardson's? Aleutian usually has a steeper forehead that doesn't slope into the bill. Small cheek patch and dark chin stripe are good for Aleutian though. Lack of a white collar on an adult bird seems a strong mark against Aleutian here. I have not noticed any geese with that orangey of a color on the breast, I'm not sure what that might suggest.

Edited by AlexHenry
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/20/2020 at 9:36 PM, AlexHenry said:

I'm not gonna give any firm answers here, just some impressions. I don't feel confident putting a name on these birds, but certainly others might be.

1. The cheek patch and chin stripe look like Aleutian, but otherwise looks like Richardson's to me.

2. Shape, size, and white collar suggest Aleutian but white cheek patch would be unusually large for Aleutian.

3. Long neck, head and bill shape seem more like Taverner's Cackling or Lesser Canada to me. Or perhaps Taverner's x Richardson's? Aleutian usually has a steeper forehead that doesn't slope into the bill. Small cheek patch and dark chin stripe are good for Aleutian though. Lack of a white collar on an adult bird seems a strong mark against Aleutian here. I have not noticed any geese with that orangey of a color on the breast, I'm not sure what that might suggest.

Thanks! I agree a few of these birds definitely look intermediate with features of several different subspecies. The sloping head shape of the third bird did concern me for Aleutian, so maybe some odd intergrade or aberrant bird. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with AlexHenry in the inadvisability to put a definitive name on Cacklers that are odd. As he suggested, this could be a Cackler x Lesser Canada, but it could also be a Richardson's x Taverner's Cackler, with not knowing the sex of the bird being, perhaps, the largest part of uncertainty. Do the apparently large size and thin bill point to Canada genes? Quite possibly, probably, if the bird is a female.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...