Monday, August 02, 2010

Local Geese, Native and Feral

The goose above should be recognizable to most readers as a Canada Goose (Branta canadensis). This is one of the most common local birds, in all seasons, and is probably the most common local water bird. Large flocks of them fill our local parks. This individual is banded. Unfortunately I did not see enough of the band to record the whole number.

Usually a few feral geese associate with them. This photo shows two: a barnyard goose (the domesticated form of Anser anser) and an Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus). Both species have attempted breeding here. Egyptian Geese have fledged a few broods. The barnyard geese sometimes interbreed with the Canada Geese. I have seen several individuals like the one below.
The bare parts and lower body strongly resemble the barnyard geese, while the back, neck, and head strongly resemble Canada Geese.