Verification of Unusual
Rec. # 2010-10
|Scientific name:||Branta hutchinsii|
|Date:||March 7, 2010|
|Length of time observed:||On and off for 2 hours|
1, but see additional comments and photos
|Location:||Warren, west side of 5900W. 1/2 mile north of 12th Street|
|Latilong:||Viewed From N41deg15min25.60sec W112deg07min22.36sec|
|Distance to bird:||100-150 feet|
|Optical equipment:||8x42 binocs; 85 mm spotting scope w/20-60x zoom eyepiece|
|Light Conditions:||light overcast|
|Description: Size of bird:||One of the smallest geese present, but larger than Mallards that were also present|
|(Description:) Basic Shape:||Waterfowl|
|(Description:) Overall Pattern:||Black, white, gray|
|(Description:) Bill Type:||Waterfowl|
Field Marks and
Bird among the smallest of the many Branta geese present. Compact. Small,
triangular black bill, although not an equilateral triangle--slightly longer on
culmen and lower mandible than where bill met face. Forehead angled up from
bill toward crown at greater than 45 degrees to rounded angle in front of eye.
Crown proceeded up from there, in a straight line rather than rounded, to
another rounded point above and behind the eye. Crown did not appear rounded at
any time. White cheek patch was small relative to the size of patch on Canadas.
Black eye. Black gular
stripe present and visible to a small extent in profile view. Black neck. Strong
Body dark gray (not brown) with breast a slightly (not much) lighter shade of gray. No purple sheen. White under- and uppertail coverts; black tail. Black legs and feet.
I failed to note if there was black below bottom edge of white neck-collar or the pattern of wing covert edging.
|Song or call & method of delivery:||
|Behavior:||Swimming with other Branta geese, also feeding on grass while strolling with a relaxed flock. Lots of arriving and departing geese during the observation period.|
|Habitat:||Swampy oxbow surrounded by pastures, feedlots, agricultural fields.|
were they eliminated:
|Not a: Review bird did not show smoothly curved crown tapering into extended bill of Canadas; crown was angled, forehead steep, bill was short. Review bird's breast was very dark in comparison to Great Basin Canada Geese present. Review bird was among the smallest geese present (other apparent Cacklers, likely B.h.hutchinsii and minima), and somewhat larger than Mallards present, perhaps the size of a .|
this & similar species:
Only B.h.taverneri: a little, assuming I ID'd the birds I saw correctly. None
with other Cackling subspecies.
B.canadensis: extensive, but didn't pay much attention to them until Cacklers regained species status.
|References consulted:||Sibley, 2000; Mlodinow et. al. 2008.|
|Description from:||Notes made later|
|Observer:||Kristin M. Purdy|
|Observer's address:||1961 Arapaho Circle, Ogden, UT 84403|
|Observer's e-mail address:||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Other observers who independently identified this bird:||
David Wheeler reported 16 Cackling Geese, possibly all B.h.minima, from this
location the previous day.
|Date prepared:||March 7, 2010|
Although I'm only submitting this record for one Cackling Goose, I believe I
also saw 2-3 minimas and five or six hutchinsiis. Several of the photos show
several of the birds I believed to be hutchinsiis. I concentrated on the small
dark goose with the strong white neck-collar for this record.
The photos submitted with this record may only help support the Cackling Goose ID due to their quality; however, several features of this bird led me to the surprising possibility that this could have been the unlikely B.h.leucopareia. While I understand the documented limited winter range of this subspecies in Pacific coastal states, the bird showed several features that might be termed typical of leucopareia, rather than minima: small and dark, but lacking a purple sheen on the breast; steep angled forehead to a rounded point in front of the eye and a second rounded point above and behind the eye, and gular stripe visible in a relaxed profile view. I will never know for sure. I returned to the spot twice on Monday, March 8, and there were few geese of any description present.