"White-cheeked" Goose woes
Canada or Cakling?!?.... let's hash it out here!
In my last blog post I wrote about the leucistic or light goose I digiscoped in Anchorage. Given the very short-necked appearance I leaned toward Cackling Goose over Canada Goose, but have to admit. I'm not wholly sure. One disadvantage of living in Florida.... I never see either one here at home!
There has always been a wide range of variation in size amongst the "white-cheeked" goose complex. Formerly all called Canada Goose, these have more recently been split into two separate species Canada Goose (larger) and Cackling Goose (smaller) much like the Snow and Ross' Geese.
Cackling generally have shorter necks and stubby bills than Canada but the smallest Canada Geese (subspecies parvipes) and largest Cackling Geese (subspecies taverneri) are very similar in structure and size and difficult to separate. Guides suggest taverneri Cackling average darker... not real helpful on this bird. At any rate, all wanting to partake in an ID discussion, please comment.
I think it would be fun, and I've never been afraid to be wrong so let's talk it out.