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Saturday, January 28, 2006

A Cackling Goose in Prospect Park

Today Peter Dorosh located a Cackling Goose among the flocks of Canada Goose on Prospect Lake. It was subsequently relocated and observed by several people. It was first seen near West Island (the small island closest to the Park Circle entrance) but was moving back and forth along the west side of the lake.

Angus Wilson has a very thorough piece on Canada Goose identification and subspecies, as well as, the 2004 reclassification by the American Ornithologist's Union's Committee on Classification and Nomenclature.

Last year, when I posted photos of the Cackling Goose that was at Lido Beach, some readers thought that I was pulling their leg. I swear, there really is a difference between the Canada Goose and Cackling Goose. Even a non-birder would appreciate the difference in size, head shape, bill size and neck length.

Cackling Goose

(Photo credit - Steve Nanz)


Anonymous said...

Are you really sure that it isn't a dwarf Canada goose?

Rob J. said...

I just thought that it was a tiny, cute Canada Goose. Apparently, taxonomists have given much closer looks at the small races of Canada Goose and found, not only structural differences, but also genetic differences.

Ben C. said...


Thanks for posting the image of the Cackling Goose. It differs remarkably from a Canada Goose.

Female Gadwall / female Mallard come to mind as a comparison - but only a comparison.

BTW, can you point me to the listing of the Brooklyn Blog awards? I've gone to the site listed but didn't see a link to the awards.


Ben Cacace

Rob J. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rob J. said...

I tried to put the link here in the comments but it is too long and trails off the page. If you go to their main page, click on the January archives and go down to January 2nd.


Anonymous said...

Of course everyone is familiar with the average Canada Goose.

But the relevant question is: what specific criteria distinguishes the difference between a dwarf Canada Goose and a normal Cackling Goose?

Your expert opinion is appreciated.

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