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2nd generation goose hybrid, Flamborough, England. (1 Viewer)

Brett Richards

Well-known member
United Kingdom
The attached photos taken in fog today at Water Lane, Flamborough, show what I believe is a 2nd generation hybrid - a Greylag x (Greylag x Canada Goose) hybrid. If so then that obviously means that Greylag x Canada Goose hybrids can be fertile.
My reasons for thinking this is a 2nd generation hybrid are fourfold. I have seen and photographed many Greylag x Canada hybrids, and today’s bird differed from all those 1st generation hybrids as follows.
a) The (pinkish) bill was totally unmarked. Variable in 1st generation hybrids, but if pale, always with at least some dark markings.
b) The tail was dark grey/blackish with a white fringe, as opposed to all black.
c) The greater coverts were more than half the length of the secondary exposure, as opposed to a similar length or a little shorter. (Canadas have short greater coverts and a long secondary exposure, while Greylags have long greater coverts and a short secondary exposure).
d) The pale face patch is much subdued compared to a 1st generation hybrid.

In 2016 at Flamborough a Greylag x Canada hybrid appeared to be paired with a Greylag. I presumed the hybrid was the product of a male Greylag and a female Canada Goose, which pair bred at Flamborough for a few years and produced offspring each year; therefore a ‘Granada’ and not a ‘Canalag’. I wondered what the outcome of this pairing would be, but no breeding activity was observed. What seemed to be the same pair reappeared in 2017, and on 17 April the presumed Granada began incubating. After a prolonged period however, the nest was deserted, revealing a large clutch of infertile eggs. This was what I expected, as I didn’t think such a cross genus hybrid would be fertile, but today’s sighting seems to show there can be exceptions.

Comments welcome on the ID of the hybrid or on the fertility of cross genus hybrids.

Brett
 

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Joern Lehmhus

Well-known member
I am not so sure.

You make some good points that could hint to a second generation hybrid, but there are occasionally probable F1 hybrids which have some white on the tail or an all pink bill. So we can not exclude that is an unusually patterned F1 hybrid.
That is the general problem with these birds: We´d need a direct proof.

To illustrate what I mean: Though your bird shows an unusual set of features,
each of thes can occur in F1 hybrids (all those photos have been found in an internet search within half an hour):

These have only a bit of black on the nail
https://waarneming.nl/foto/view/13993256

these ones has an all pink bill
https://waarneming.nl/foto/view/15886726

this one with a lot of white , possibly indicating domestic ancestry , also has a bill without black
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7t8zionQg...AdY/Hu3dt4iR4hU/s1600/DSCF5698+(Modified).JPG



This one has a nearly all black neck (not directly like yours, but interesting- they speculate about pinkfoot being involved but with tht bill its out of question)).
http://c7.alamy.com/compde/awkbap/h...ch-pink-footed-goose-in-abstammung-awkbap.jpg


this one has a similar neck pattern as your bird:
https://waarneming.nl/foto/view/4412328


this one also does not have a very contrasty neck pattern
https://waarneming.nl/foto/view/633343

This one has some white in the tail feathers (it is known as an F1 hybrid)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4523647163/

I´d also to see some photos of your bird in bright sunlight, the weather is certainly suitable to make all features duller.....


I am not saying it is definitely not possible, but so far nobody has come with a definite proof.
 
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Joern Lehmhus

Well-known member
Other canada x Greylag with a bill without black:

https://www.artportalen.se/Image/1517094

https://www.artportalen.se/Image/1000469

here with less contrasty head and neck
https://www.artportalen.se/Image/1333644

concerning point c - to my experience this is somewhat variable even in F1 hybrids.

The most difficult point i think is the tail, in wild colored hybrids that much white on the tail is rare.


I think we need DNA- I may know somebody who could do the testing if it is possible to get feathers from this individual?
 

Brett Richards

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Other canada x Greylag with a bill without black:

https://www.artportalen.se/Image/1517094

https://www.artportalen.se/Image/1000469

here with less contrasty head and neck
https://www.artportalen.se/Image/1333644

concerning point c - to my experience this is somewhat variable even in F1 hybrids.

The most difficult point i think is the tail, in wild colored hybrids that much white on the tail is rare.


I think we need DNA- I may know somebody who could do the testing if it is possible to get feathers from this individual?

Thanks Joern, interesting stuff. No sign of the bird today, but it will probably reappear at some point, and I will try to get better photos, and if possible some DNA.

Brett
 

Brett Richards

Well-known member
United Kingdom
The bird appeared again at Flamborough today in the same spot. Very pink legs. Getting any feathers will be difficult.

Brett
 

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Brett Richards

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Not sure if that can work in that case - have to ask ...

but the bird really looks very interesting, even more so in these new photos

Photo from today. Seems to be hanging around, and now apparently paired to a Greylag. Not doing any droppings while I watched it today, but getting some seems a real possibility, if I could get into the field without being electrocuted!

Brett
 

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Joern Lehmhus

Well-known member
Photo from today. Seems to be hanging around, and now apparently paired to a Greylag. Not doing any droppings while I watched it today, but getting some seems a real possibility, if I could get into the field without being electrocuted!

Brett
Still no answer if that would work and how to store them...
I´ll inform you at once when I get an answer
 

stevethehydra

Well-known member
Watching this with interest, nothing much really to add except that this bird, while obviously having a Canada-influenced face pattern, is more Greylag-like than any of the (widely varied) Canada x Greylag hybrids I have seen. There have been occasional cases of fertile individuals being produced of hybrid combinations that are typically infertile (e.g. a few records of horse x donkey mules producing offspring backcrossed to eiher horse or donkey) so it isn't necessarily impossible (and Eugene McCarthy believes much, much wilder stuff... :eek: ). I wonder if this bird is itself fertile, and if so if it could be a conduit for Canada genes getting into the Greylag population in such a way that eventually only a DNA test could tell you that an apparently "pure" Greylag might have a distant bit of Canada ancestry (as probably has happened with other species whose hybrids are more fertile, e.g. various Anas ducks).

I suppose one possibility to rule out is whether a coincidentally Canada-like face pattern could be produced by all Anser goose parents (domestic Greylag and/or Swan Goose variants?).
 

Brett Richards

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Three more photos from today, showing the Greylag-like upperwing.

Brett
 

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