Cackling Goose


(Branta hutchinsii)

Cackling Goose is a tundra-breeding, smaller version of the familiar Canada Goose, with which it was formerly conspecific. There is often great confusion identifying this species because there are several subspecies of both Canada and Cackling, and there is size overlap such that the largest Cackling can be larger than the smallest Canada (Branta canadensis parvipes). In general Cackling has a smaller, rounder head, a shorter neck, and a stubbier bill. Occasional individuals found amidst large wintering flocks of full-sized Canada Geese are usually easy to pick out by the juxtaposition of different size and bill shape. Individuals found in the Nome, AK area are the subspecies Branta hutchinsii taverneri.

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