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Greater White-fronted Goose at Antelope Island Causeway ??

6 Feb 2011
Antelope Island Causeway
Davis County, Utah

(E-mails from Ted McGrath, 7 Feb 2011)

My wife and I saw this large brownish goose at the west end of the causeway, between the bridge and the soldiers’ memorial, at about 5:00 PM yesterday, February 6. We first saw the goose in the water just north of the causeway, but it quickly waddled up across the rocks and started browsing in the dead grasses beside the road. It had not been present when we went out to the island two hours earlier.

We suspect that it is a Greater White Fronted Goose, but note the lack of a “white front” of white feathers at the base of its beak and the rather prominent black tip to the beak. Our field guides say that the white front is lacking in immature geese, but they do not talk about a black tip to the beak. The behavior of this goose, it was solitary and it let me approach it while it browsed, suggest that it may be an escaped domestic, so we wondered if it might instead be a Graylag or Barnyard Goose.

We will be interested in your comments.

         Photo by Ted McGrath

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