[CT Birds] more on Southbury Cackling Goose

Gregory Hanisek ctgregh at gmail.com
Sat Dec 2 22:23:46 EST 2017


The identification of Cackling Geese gets more difficult the more we study
them. Because of this I had some discussion with Mark Szantyr, who's
studied CT's rare geese more than anyone, and he in turn ran my eBird link
past West Coast Cackling Goose expert Steve Mlodinow. Steve provided his
usual detailed analysis, which takes into account intergrades between
Cackling Goose subspecies as well as possible Cackling X Canada Goose
hybrids.

In summary, he said the bird seemed large (for a Cackling) but didn't
appear to be a hybrid (with Canada). He suggested the Taverner's subspecies
(B. hutchinsii taverneri) based on head and bill shape, but noted that
there is discussion among experts about the limits of that form.

Complex stuff, which reminds us not to be too glib about applying
subspecies names to these geese, or many other birds for that matter.

Greg Hanisek
Waterbury


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