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Friday, November 11, 2016

Friday's Foto

Last weekend I joined a group of friends on a "wild goose chase" to try and track down a vagrant Pink-footed Goose on Long Island. We were successful in finding, what was for most of us, a life bird.

The Pink-footed Goose is a medium-sized goose, with a short bill that is bright pink in the middle with a black base and tip. They also sport their namesake pink feet. They nest in eastern Greenland, Iceland and Svalbard. After breeding season they all migrate across the North Atlantic wintering in Britain and northwestern Europe. Increasingly strays have been found in North America and eastern Canada. There are approximately a dozen records of this goose in New York State. Feeding primarily on grass and aquatic vegetation in summer, they often nest on cliffs close to glaciers to provide protection from predators.

IUCN Red List lists this species conservation status as “Least Concern”. The population appears to be increasing. You can see an interactive range map here.

Its scientific name, Anser brachyrhynchus, means goose with a short bill.

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