Friday, 7 November 2014

Cackling Goose (Bernache de Hutchins)

Cackling Goose Branta hutchinsii
Cunningham Pond
Maple, ON
6 November 2014

     For many years there was considerable debate and disagreement among
taxonomists about the various races and subspecies of Canada Goose Branta canadensis. 
     In July 2004 Cackling Goose was recognized as a valid species by the American Ornithologists Union, followed by similar action by the British Ornithologists Union in June 2005.
     The front cover of Volume 1 of Ducks, Geese and Swans (Oxford University Press) depicts a Cackling Goose alongside a Canada Goose, although at the time of publication (2005), they were not acknowledged as two species in the text.

     During fall migration in Ontario, if one scans flocks of Canada Geese carefully, there is always the possibility of turning up a few Cackling Geese, but it requires patience. The two species migrate together from their breeding grounds in Western Canada and Alaska.
     I was delighted to find a single bird with a large flock of Canada Geese at Cunningham Pond in Maple yesterday.


  1. Very nice shots. Wish you a good weekend.

  2. Great shots of the geese. I will be on the lookout for the Cackling Goose.. Happy weekend!

  3. You found a really nice example of Cackling Goose there David with good size comparison pictures. Cackling Goose is another one of those headaches for British birders - "real" or "escape", to tick or not to tick. Who cares?

  4. Splendour pictures of the goose.
    Greetings Tinie

  5. Quite interesting to learn about the Cackling Goose being now a separate species. The size alone says it all!
    Lovely pictures you shot here, congrats!
    Patrick says thanks to your comment on his snipe!! ;-)
    Hugs to the both of you!

  6. It's a beautiful goose that we see frequently in the Netherlands. Very nice photos David:-)

  7. Great photos and nice birds. Greetings from Poland!

  8. Excellent images of the Cackling Geese, cheers David.

  9. Well seen and captured. I saw them near Seattle early in the year, and they certainly do look like a separate species - but looks aren't everything!

  10. It is very interesting :)
    Beautiful pictures as always. I admire.

  11. As Phil says, you've shown us some nice, and very useful, comparison shots here, David. I've also had the dilema that Phil mentions, having seen a Cackling Goose that was generally believed to have been an escapee - possibly from the lake of a well known digger manufacturer who's been accused of muddying the waters (so to speak) on many an occasion!

    Best wishes to you and Miriam - - - Richard

  12. Hey David,
    Nice shots of these geese.
    These geese are so wondeful. When you come closer to them you can see mostly the waterdrops on there head.
    Nice post.

    Best regards,