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March 2007


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Will Raup <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 28 Mar 2007 16:12:23 -0400
text/plain (65 lines)
New York State up to 2003 has had 12 reports of Barnacle Goose, 11 being 
accepted as 'Origins Uncertain'.

The individual reports are here:  

A quick survey found that 50% of the reports came from March and April and 
25% came from the other peak waterfowl times in October and November.  In my 
opinion there is a patter developing here and the bird in question fits into 
this pattern.  2 other reports come from winter and 1 oddball one in early 

Will Raup
Albany, NY

>From: Allan Strong <[log in to unmask]>
>Reply-To: Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] barnacle goose
>Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 14:14:56 -0400
>The Massachusetts records committee does post its decisions on line, and it 
>looks like they have accepted 4 Barnacle Goose records in the last +/- 5 
>years (and a 5th report was not accepted).  Although I serve on the VT 
>records committee, I must admit I don't know what our criteria are for 
>assessing the origin of individuals that have a history of presence in 
>captivity.  Some, obviously are filtered out immediately (Ringed Turtle 
>Dove, White-tailed Hawk, etc.), but others are more difficult to assess.
>At 01:33 PM 3/28/2007 -0500, you wrote:
>>For whatever it's worth, my understanding is the very conservative 
>>Massachusetts records committee is also firmly opposed to accepting 
>>Barnacle goose.  I've been told that one of the reasons is that these 
>>birds are widely kept in private -- often illegal and therefore unbanded 
>>-- collections of exotics and frequently escape.
>>(Can't personally verify either of the above, just repeating what I've 
>>been told by more knowlegeable people.)
>>I wonder about the issue of feather wear as a determinant.  I would think 
>>the presence of a particular pattern would be a pretty good indication 
>>that the bird is a recent escape, but unless I'm undereducated on the 
>>subject, I don't see how its absence can prove it's not, since over time, 
>>the damaged feathers would be replaced, and even the behavior would become 
>>more "wild" after a couple of years of associating with a wild flock, 
>>wouldn't it?
>>If the default assumption of records committees is that a Barnacle is an 
>>escape unless proven otherwise, is the only acceptable proof of wild 
>>origin then a band recovery?

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