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.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Snow Goose

Chen caerulescens

Medium-sized goose
Long neck
Pink-orange bill and legs
Black 'grin patch' on bill edges
White morph:
    Entirely white
    Black wing tips
Blue morph: (not photographed)
    White head and neck
    Blue-gray upperparts
    Gray-brown breast and sides
    White belly

Listen to its call.

Driving down Martindale Road this afternoon, the snowy white plumage of this bird made it stand out from its surroundings as it stood with a large flock of Canada Geese in a farmer's field. At first I thought it was a domesticated barnyard goose given its location. However, as I got closer I could see the black wing-tips, which domesticated geese don't have.

I'm curious as to why a single Snow Goose would be within a flock of Canada Geese, not only while feeding but in flight as well.  I guess it could be that it strayed from its own flock and joined this one for company. Like other animals, humans included, geese probably feel that there is safety in numbers.

Learn more about the Snow Goose.

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