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Alaska, US: Canada/Cackling Goose & subspecies (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Hi all,

These geese were photographed at the mouth of Ship Creek in Anchorage, Alaska, on June 2, 2018. I believe them to be Dusky Canada Geese (Branta canadensis occidentalis. However, this subspecies group (Dusky/Vancouver Canada Geese (occidentalis/fulva)) is flagged as rare in eBird, and I'm not sure Dusky Canada Goose actually does make it into the Anchorage area. However, the group of geese (only two photographed, silly me) looked as a whole considerably darker breasted and darker overall than our local Canada Geese on the East Coast of the US (subspecies maxima and canadensis). I believe most of my attached photos show this except for one in which the color is more washed out by lighting effects. Though the dark coloration overall would be in line with the minima subspecies of Cackling Goose, which would occur in the area, the birds seemed too large and long-billed for any subspecies of Cackling Goose (and too dark for Taverner's).

All photos show the same bird. In the one with two birds, the bird pictured in the other photos is the goose in the back.

I'd love to hear thoughts on these birds' subspecies, but would also appreciate simple confirmation that they are not Cackling Geese, as I admittedly have no experience with any of the western subspecies of Cackling Goose.


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