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.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cackling Goose

Branta hutchinsii

Small goose
Black head
Short, stubby bill
Long, black neck
White chinstrap
Light gray to brown breast 
Brownish back
White undertail
Black legs and feet

Listen to its call.

On a number of occasions recently, I've seen what I thought were small Canada Geese. It wasn't until today, when I saw a group of them next to the larger birds, that I realized the extent of the size discrepancy. These birds were about the size of a Mallard Duck. However, it was their call that convinced me that I was actually looking at a different species. Instead of the deep honking of the Canada Goose, this call was a high-pitched, squealing honk.

Canada Geese with Cackling Goose (front right)

In addition to their smaller size and distinctive cackle, these birds can be distinguished from the Canada Goose by their shorter bill length and shorter neck.

Learn more about the Cackling Goose.

No comments:

Post a Comment