Is it a smaller Canada or a Cackling Goose?
The second one will be better ))
The second one will be better ))
I think we can safely rule out a ‘Cackling Goose’ minima these are the smallest and darkest of the variant forms. The OP is too large and pale. On range you could probably rule out a Taverner’s (taverneri.) There’s also Lesser Canada Goose (parvipes) (part of the Canada Goose canadensis) (which can be indistinguishable from Taverner’s!) although the steep forehead and flattish crown doesn’t favor this option. There is also Todd’s Canada Goose (interior) but I think we can rule that out on size (also the OP has quite a thick neck). My very loose and tentative guess would be Richardson’s Canada Goose (hutchinsii) which not only would be better than the others on range but which are small and pale, they also have a thick neck however, even with good views these forms are a nightmare.
There are several more forms than this too - about 11 taxa in the Cackling Goose/Canada Goose complex! Clear as mud?
You would need much clearer images to pin the OP down to race imo but the small size and short legs suggest it’s not a Canada Goose but rather one of the hutchinsii variants, likely B.h.hutchinsii Richardson’s.
I lived for many years close to a nature reserve/reservoir that had regular Cackling type geese - along with Bar-headed and Egyptian Geese, which all mixed with the Canada Geese - all presumably from feral populations though (especially the minima and not sure whether any were hybrids either!)
Vagrant Richardson’s have turned up in Norfolk and elsewhere (being an Eastern Seaboard species) and are larger than ‘Cackling Goose’ -
Edit - I know you raised the point about neck length but this can not be judged in photos - geese (and egrets!) can go from having short necks to long ones depending on posture!
I believe you can only say the part I highlighted using bold if you have truly been able to exclude parvipes - which I am not sure about.
Slightly larger image in this link: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/266902861
Neils, Lesser Canada parvipes are much less likely in the North Eastern US - they breed further West than Richardson’s and are short distant migrants - so immediately just on range, Richardson’s is more likely. . The reference to bill size that you use in your above #3 post to point to a Canada is not really applicable when clearly this is not a Canada Goose based on the size of the bird compared to the Canada Goose next to it (assuming that the larger one is a Canada not a Lesser). As far as Lesser Canada parvipes you refer to in your above post, they tend to have more triangular combined shaped head/bill (which I don’t see in the OP) but the bills if anything are proportionately actually more stubby than Richardson's (comparing bill length to bill depth ratio)
Note particularly the size and shape of the head v bill in the OP and compare here:
Lesser do not have such steep foreheads (as in the OP), they have skinnier necks and are more similar to Canada in colour. The OP (especially in the lightened image) to me looks pale both on the mantle and the breast with the thick neck of a Richardson and the size of the bird (best seen in the first image where the leg length can be seen) looks rather small imo.
Note, I said ‘likely’ a Richardson’s and ‘suggest’ this points to that race, so yes, this can be said without excluding Lesser but imo, for the reasons stated, I prefer Richardson’s over the former. However, I have not and did not rule out other forms in my previous post, in fact I said you need clearer images to pin this down. I also said even with good views ‘these forms are a nightmare’.
So I think by selective bold highlighting out of the context of my overall answer you gave my conclusion more certainly than I intended. A conclusion that was a only suggestion based on my experience with Richardson’s but not an absolute certainty. Nor, does it in my experience exclude the possibility of intergrades or hybrids.
My very loose and tentative guess would be Richardson’s Canada Goose (hutchinsii) which not only would be better than the others on range but which are small and pale, they also have a thick neck however, even with good views these forms are a nightmare.
Perhaps you know this as well, but the current North American taxonomy has "Richardson's" as a subspecies of Cackling and distinct from any Canada subspecies.