Friday, January 25, 2008

White-cheeked Geese in Scottsdale - 01/23

A quick stop at Back Lake at the McCormick Ranch in Scottsdale produced some good sized flocks of Canada Geese, many of the birds close. The vast majority were nice crisp examples of 'moffiti' but careful scanning with a scope also found about six or seven smaller parvipes. Associating with these were two small geese that I couldn't quite place. At times, both had a Cackling type feel, especially in direct comparison to parvipes, but both seemed to be a little on the large side and not quite stubby-billed enough for most forms of Cackling Goose. Even so, I'm not sure how I could have ruled out Taverner's Cackling Goose for at least one of these birds. Taverner's apparently overlaps in size and body weight with parvipes.

A most useful introduction to white-cheeked goose identification in Arizona can be viewed here on the AZFO website.

Moffiti at rear, two parvipes at extreme right, small unidentified geese at center and left.

parvipes at center, with small unidentified geese either side. Compare the head/bill shapes of the parvipes (center) and the bird on the right. Perhaps these are all variants of parvipes?

small unidentified goose with typical moffiti at rear.

I would welcome comments on the identity of any of the white-cheeked geese posted here. Thanks.

Good birding,



Tom Pirro said...

As always, nice post and photographs. Chuck Caron and I had small white-cheeked goose in Ipswich, Massachusetts yesterday. I placed a few dull photos on my blog and posts posts by a few knowledgeble birders point away from Cackling (we didn't like the bill proportions)toward smaller race of the Canada clan. Your comments would be welcome, enjoy the warmth of the southwest.


Kathiesbirds said...

Well, I just got an education! I knew here were cackling geese but had no idea there were all these subspecies. I followed the link provided and will have to study more now that I know! Thanks!