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Thread: Small goose ID- cackling or lesser canada? US/Pennsylvania

  1. #1

    Default Small goose ID- cackling or lesser canada? US/Pennsylvania

    Birding in central Pennsylvania we don't often get big enough geese flocks to get anything interesting with them. Today however, I found one small goose that was darker on the chest and back than the surrounding geese. I have a couple photos up on my blog if anyone is interested in helping me with an ID.

  2. #2
    Junior Member palmchat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Boulder, CO


    Hi Drew,

    It is certainly not a Cackling Goose of any sort. The proportions on the thing are all typical for a Canada Goose, except that it is smaller than normal. Even the largest and darkest Taverner's Cackling Goose have a proportionally small bill.

    Your options are a Lesser Canada Goose or a runt of a more expected race of Canada. A bird like this would not cause much consternation among a flock of Lesser Canadas in CO. But, with an out of range bird like this, the existence of runt canadensis or whatnot has to be considered seriously.

    Christian Nunes

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Looks pretty Lesser to me!

    The overall proportions of the bird, as well as the coloration, and of course the location all tend to suggest Lesser Canada Goose (parvipes). Cackling usually have a way stubbier bill and seemingly 'bulgier' head in my experience. Check these sites for more info:

  4. #4


    Yeah, I agree that its probably either a runt of one of the eastern subspecies or a Lesser Canada Goose.

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