The Cackling Goose that wasn’t…

Lesser Canada Goose - parvipes subspeciesNovember 26: This morning I drove up to the UMass campus in Amherst, Mass. in hopes of photographing a Cackling Goose that has been seen on the campus pond for the past week amongst a flock of about 1000 Canada Geese, and reported on Ebird a half dozen times.  The lighting was perfect, and the campus pond is conveniently narrow so that all the birds are viewable at quite close range.  The goose in question was scoped for the small group of birders present by a staff member at UMass who has been viewing the bird daily.  Although the overall small size of the bird is right, I was troubled by the absence of the typical stubby bill of a Cackling Goose.  Accordingly, I asked a number of Connecticut experts to look at the photos for their opinion, and they were unanimous in their conclusion that this is in fact an example of the parvipes subspecies of Lesser Canada Goose, and not a Cackling Goose at all.

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