Small "Canada" Goose, Dutch delta area (1 Viewer)

StuartReeves

Local rarity
A friend and I found this bird while goosewatching in the Dutch delta at the weekend. It was in an area where large numbers of Barnacle and Eurasian White-fronted Geese were present. It is clearly one of the small forms from the Canada Goose complex, but that's as far as my current understanding goes, hence I'd be grateful for any insights as to its identification, taxonomy or possible origin.

Stuart
 

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phil baber

artist for birds
Europe
Hmmn...Richardson's is quite pale compared to this bird.
It looks more like Cackling Canada (Branta canadiensis minima), whose range falls in coastal West Alaska.
 

deborah4

Well-known member
Probably not going to be much help so some thoughts anyway!

Agree on bill size it's definitely one of the lesser types (Lesser Canada parvipes I think can be ruled out bill lenght and head shape - would be longer in bill and rounder headed for parvipes)

Minima: I think this can be ruled out on size and head structure - while colour most suited, it looks rather large cf.compared with the Barnacles. (It's about the same size perhaps there could be overlap but Barnacles should be roughly 10 cm longer in lenght. Minima are the size of Mallards) (Although apparently minima are seen frequently in flocks of Barnacle in the Netherlands but not on Dutch list due to questionable status!). Minima's also have very neatly rounded heads which I can't see here (forming an almost perfect circle from under chin to top of head round to base of culmen with bill placed in the centre of the head.).

Richardson's: Head shape doesn't look right (Richardson's have a very steep forehead and square head. Upper breast looks much too dark and getting darker towards base of sock.

Tavernerii: Dark upper breast/belly looks good for this ssp but head doesn't seem round enough. According to literature, they nearly always have a gular stripe (black chin strap) which your bird doesn't.

My guess it's a mix/intergrade of some sort with perhaps minima being one side of mix and a larger cackling the other perhaps a taverneri (the latter being closer to parvipes in size). I can't see a pure minima on structure personally.
 
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deborah4

Well-known member
Incidently 'Cackling Geese' now refers to all the four smaller canadas (B.hutchinsii). What was a Cackling Goose is now B.h.minima (just to avoid any confusion here!)
 
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phil baber

artist for birds
Europe
Incidently 'Cackling Geese' now refers to all the four smaller canadas (B.hutchinsii). What was a Cackling Goose is now B.h.minima (just to avoid any confusion here!)

Yeh! Sorry Deborah. The info i've got on me is a bit out of date. It's Minima i meant. Got a great article from Birdwatch from over 10 yrs ago, which would wrap this up, but am not at home. I still favour Minima though!
 

CAU

Well-known member
Minima is Cackling Cackling Goose according to Sibley. To me it looks like a pure one, compare to this one:
http://www.bongariliitto.fi/kuvat/0...bracanhut_20061006_parikk_riiji/hutmin090.jpg
The bird linked above has been accepted by the Finnish RC (into category E). They spend the winter in the Netherlands and at least some migrate with the Barnacle Geese through Finland to the arctic regions.

Here's a hybrid with a Barnacle Goose, by the way:
http://www.bongariliitto.fi/kuvat/01_Sorsalinnut/012_Hanhet/bracanxx_20061006_tohmaj_vairo/Brasp.jpg
 

Binocularface

You've all got one...............!
I would be fairly confident in calling this bird Branta hutchinsii minima AKA Cackling Goose. The plumage tones and overall size/structure (including head/bill structure) all fit this form. I would not want to second guess its origins; but it would not be impossible for it to be of wild origin ;)

Attached are some pics of the Caerlaverock birds for comparison!
 

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deborah4

Well-known member
Minima is Cackling Cackling Goose according to Sibley.

Nobody mentioned Cackling Cackling CAU ... As I said 'Cackling' goose refers to all four ssp

''What is the "Cackling Goose"?
First, to clear up some confusion about the names of the species and subspecies: The former broad Canada Goose has been divided into a large-bodied, interior- and southern-breeding species, and a small-bodied tundra-breeding subspecies. The large-bodied group is still known as Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) while the small-bodied group takes the name Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii). This means that the English name Cackling Goose, which has in the past been more or less restricted to the smallest subspecies (the far western B. c. minima) is now the species name for all four of the small subspecies. This new species takes the scientific name of the earliest-named subspecies and becomes Branta hutchinsii.''

But yes, the old 'Cackling' Goose is now a Cackling Cackling but not a ''Cackling'' goose as it's been referred to on this thread a few times = hence the clarification.

If anyone wants to check the Sibling taxonomic explaination it's here:
http://www.sibleyguides.com/canada_cackling.htm
 
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Binocularface

You've all got one...............!
Agree on bill size it's definitely one of the lesser types (Lesser Canada parvipes I think can be ruled out bill lenght and head shape - would be longer in bill and rounder headed for parvipes)

Just to add to the confusion; Lesser Canada Goose (parvipes) is actually lumped with the Greater Canada Geese :smoke:
 

deborah4

Well-known member
I still favour Minima though!

I believe I do Phil. Perhaps it's just the perspective and angle that was throwing me. The minima's I see fairly regularly with our local feral G.Canadas on Ivy Lake nr. Chichester, have always looked much rounder headed but presumably there's sp. variation and sexual diamorphism in size.
 
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deborah4

Well-known member
Just to add to the confusion; Lesser Canada Goose (parvipes) is actually lumped with the Greater Canada Geese :smoke:

I didn't say it wasn't was just ruling it out initially as there's intergrades at the top of the scale and wanted to add weight to my statement that it was definitely a Cackling we were looking at - just being thorough. You certainly haven't added to any confusion on my part!

Actually:smoke:

This is a link worth reading btw .... been booked marked for a few years now and is excellent!

http://www.idahobirds.net/identification/white-cheeked/subspecies.html
 
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Binocularface

You've all got one...............!
The minima's I see fairly regularly with our local feral G.Canadas on Ivy Lake nr. Chichester, have always looked much rounder headed but presumably there's sp. variation and sexual diamorphism in size.

Head shape in these smaller forms can be quite variable. I would agree that some is down to sexual dimorphism. The attached pics of two nominate Cackling Goose illustrate this pretty well.
 

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CAU

Well-known member
Nobody mentioned Cackling Cackling CAU

Phil in post #4? Though Cackling Canada is perhaps still a valid name for minima in the UK (but not in the US)?

... As I said 'Cackling' goose refers to all four ssp

Yes, I know. The four subspecies were split in Finland already in 2003, as we follow the AERC TAC recommendations. Therefore at latest then did I become quite acquainted with the taxonomy and identification of the smaller subspecies.
 

deborah4

Well-known member
Head shape in these smaller forms can be quite variable. I would agree that some is down to sexual dimorphism. The attached pics of two nominate Cackling Goose illustrate this pretty well.

Doesn't the one behind look rather pale breasted for a minima?
 

deborah4

Well-known member
Phil in post #4?

On my monitor it reads 'Cackling' goose! Not Cackling Cackling ... although the ssp name was also specified so Phil's post wasn't particularly a source of confusion.

Glad you're acquainted with the Taxonomy CAU, but i'm sure you will appreciate, many people are not. Hence my clarification, which wasn't directed at you.

Yes, I read the last post too quickly.

Thanks for continually jumping all over my posts ... what would I do without you eh?
 
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