There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Greater White-fronted Goose

Anser albifrons

Medium-sized goose
Mostly brown plumage
Long neck
Orange or pink bill
White band around base of bill
Irregular black spots on belly
White line separating belly from wings
White under and uppertail coverts
Dark tail
Orange legs and feet

Listen to its call.

Thanks to a kind gentleman who pointed me in the right direction, I saw these geese in a field off Lochside Trail just north of Blenkinsop Lake earlier today. Their size made them stand out from the larger Canada Geese, which are plentiful in the area. The irregular black spots on the belly, noticable in flight, and the white patch at the base of the bill are the field markings that distinguish them from other geese.

Learn more about the Greater White-fronted Goose.

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