Sunday, 23 February 2014

Bar-headed Goose x Canda Goose

probable Bar-headed Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Hyde Park (Greater London, UK), 31st May 2016 - copyright Ralph Hancock
(photo ID: 2176)

The above bird isn't showing its legs but Ralph describes it as having dull yellow feet.  It looks a lot like some Greylag x Canada hybrids and the two can easily be confused.  It was Joern who picked up on this one and noted the yellowish ground colour to the bill as well as in Ralph's description of the feet.  The bill is also rather slender for Greylag x Canada and you can see a trace of the Bar-headed pattern on the head.  This hybrid typically shows a silvery tone to the scapulars, more than most Greylag x Canada hybrids - that is hard to see in this photo (though I think I can just make it out) but it is dependent on light to some extent and does not always appear obvious.

Joern's excellent illustration of another bird show the intermediate characters clearly and his notes confirm it was intermediate in size, neck length and body colour.  Its wings were lighter than the back and the breast was brownish, unlike either parent species.

Bar-headed Goose x Canada Goose hybrid (centre, with Bar-headed Goose left and Canada Goose right), Rieselfelder M√ľnster (Germany), 28th July 2003 - copyright Joern Lehmhus
(illus. ID: 0717)

Bar-headed Goose Anser indicus
Canada Goose Branta candensis

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