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February 2017


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Ian Worley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 19:50:42 -0500
text/plain (65 lines)
Hi Bob,

Thanks for the thought.  I didn't get a good enough look to really 
explore the options.  I would have, if the group had stayed in place.

My starting point was the heft of the bird, so noticeably larger in 
appearance than the Canadas it was with, which were small Canadas if the 
Snow Goose was a normal size.  That sent my brain to a domestic goose of 
some sort, but I couldn't make that hold up later with a cursory on-line 

I've seen all sorts of leucistic birds with varying degrees and 
distributions of white.  That may not have jumped into my mind because I 
perceived the bird to be more stocky than a Canada Goose.  I haven't 
forgot about other species being hybridized as well.

I'll try to find it again tomorrow.  Where first seen it was only 
300-400 feet away.  Where it went was 4000 feet distant, and there was a 
lot of heat distortion in the cold air over the warm ground of the last 
few days.  If I do refind it, I'm curious to see if my quick 
observations in that limited time hold up during a more sustained and 
comprehensive view.

Best regards,



On 2/26/2017 7:12 PM, anneboby wrote:
> Ian - may I suggest it was possibly a leucistic Canada (a bird with partial white plumage) rather than a hybrid.  I suggest this after recently banding my second leucistic Red-tailed Hawk in NY.
> Bob Yunick
> Schenectady, NY
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ian Worley <[log in to unmask]>
> To: VTBIRD <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Sun, Feb 26, 2017 1:37 pm
> Subject: [VTBIRD] Snow Goose x Canada Goose hybrid .. Lemon Fair WMA, Cornwall.
> While beginning to count 2300 Canada Geese today in the flooded Lemon
> Fair River flats west of West Street, Cornwall, I came upon a noticeably
> large goose, as compared with the Canada Geese and one Snow Goose it was
> foraging with.  I was struck by its size, but it didn't really look like
> any domestic goose with which I am familiar.  I now think it is a Snow
> Goose x Canada Goose hybrid.
> As I was taking notes on its plumage, the ensemble of geese bolted as an
> immature Red-tailed Hawk made a zooming pass.  They landed about 0.3
> miles up stream with other geese at a location I could not see well.
> I saw the bird from right and left rear quarter view as it swam and when
> it took flight.  It was dark bodied above, and white below.  The wings
> were dark but the outer primaries were all white and very striking in
> flight. My look at the neck was remembered poorly, though it definitely
> was not white.  The head was prominently pied in color, a mottling of
> dark spots or blotches on a white field.  I did not see the bill or feet
> with any clarity.
> Ian