(Richardson's) Cackling Goose - Hadley, Hampshire Co., MA. October 29th, 2009. One of two birds present. Overall tiny, with small, short bill and distinctly cold gray cast to much of the plumage.
(Richardson's) Cackling Goose - Hadley, Hampshire Co., MA. October 29th, 2009. Size difference and slender wings often striking in flight but very easily lost within large flocks of Canada Geese.
Large flock of Canada Geese at the junction of South Maple Street and East Hadley Road, Hadley contained two really nice examples of Richardson's Cackling Goose, the birds closely associating with each other and probably from the same family. About 500 Canada Geese in all, feeding on a very wet empty corn field. Also, a bewildering number (15+) of relatively small-bodied, relatively small-billed Canada Geese that I left unidentified. I'm quite certain that most were not Cacklers but will be looking into the possibility that some may have Lesser Canada Geese (B.c. parvipes). I'll be taking a cautious approach as I've never knowingly seen that form in New England but have some experience from Arizona winter. More to follow.