I was at the dam Friday night until about 8pm when the majority (5,000
or so) Canadas flew in. Before that there was a few CAGO's present, one
of which had an orange neck band. I couldnt read the numbers in the
failing light, nor could I identify any of the 5000 geese to species
beyond silhouette (doh). If anyone can source information on
neck-banding of Canadas it might give some vague info on the provenance
of on of the CAGO's although that probably wont help the debate.
FYI my vote is that the bird is wild, pending information that clearly
points to the contrary, basically for the reasons you mention plus one
other. Barnacle and Pink-footed Geese breed in the same "general" area
of Northeastern Greenland and thus the presence of both species in NE
this fall suggests (to me) wild origin. Canada and GWFG ssp
flavirostris breed in eastern Greenland. Given that flavistrostris is
supposed to head due east to Ireland and Scotland, and obviously they
all dont, it doesnt seem too far fetched that the same aberrant
migratory strategy might apply to a few Barnacle and Pink-footed Geese.
If two species which breed in a contiguous area in NE Greenland show up
in the mid Atlantic in fall, it speaks to a natural origin rather than a
cooincidental double escape. Has anyone done the chronology - last
sighting in RI, the sighting in Mass, and this sighting, to determine if
it is likely the same bird. If this bird doesnt pass muster, I cant
imagine one ever will. And with all that, I still have to see the bird.
I cant post to VTbirds at the moment so sending this your way.
Vice President for Development
New Hampshire Audubon
3 Silk Farm Road
Concord, NH 03301
phone: 224-9909 ext. 307
Hector Galbraith PhD
Galbraith Environmental Sciences LLC
837 Camp Arden Rd., Dummerston, VT05301
802 258 4836 (phone)