Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Greater White-fronted Goose x Canada Goose

Greater White-fronted Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, location not given (probably Colorado, USA), 25th December 2013 - copyright Cathy Sheeter
(photo ID: 1844)


Hybrids between Greater White-fronted Goose and Canada Goose seem to occur less often in the wild in North America compared to hybrids between Greater White-fronted Goose and Cackling Goose.  Cathy tells us that this bird was larger than Lesser Canada Goose (race parvipes) and had bright orange legs.

Greater White-fronted Goose x Canada Goose hybrid (same bird as in photo ID 1844 above; with Richardson's Canada Goose hutchinsii), location not given (probably Colorado, USA), 25th December 2013 - copyright Cathy Sheeter
(photo ID: 1845)



Steve notes that the next bird was just a tad larger than the accompanying Lesser Canada Geese (race parvipes).

Greater White-fronted Goose x Lesser Canada Goose (race parvipes) hybrid (with Lesser Canada Geese), Windsor Reservoir, Weld County (Colorado, USA), 27th November 2013 - copyright Steve Mlodinow
(photo ID: 1127)


Dave was on a hill-top photographing passing flocks of geese when he took a couple of photos of this flock of birds.  Amazingly when he analysed the photos he found that the flock consisted of one Greater White-fronted Goose, 25 Canada Geese and, remarkably, 21 hybrids!  Dave informs us that 12 months later a 50% smaller flock of similar (the same?) hybrids briefly touched down just north of Grand Isle, across theUS border in Qu├ębec, Canada.

Greater White-fronted Goose x Canada Goose hybrids (with Greate White-fronted Goose and Canada Geese), Grand Isle, Lake Champlain (Vermont, USA), 20th March 2011 - copyright Dave Hoag
(photo ID: 1803)


The next bird was found swimming near a similar-plumaged Greater White-fronted Goose x Cackling Goose hybrid which caused some confusion.  But Steve tells us that this bird was longer-billed and larger-bodied, similar in size to a Lesser Canada Goose parvipes.

Greater White-fronted Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Weld County (Colorado, USA), 10th January 2017 - copyright Steve Mlodinow
(photo ID: 2907)


Hybrids between Greater White-fronted Goose and the larger forms of Canada Goose can be very hard to separate from Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrids - hopefully we will be able to explore this conundrum in due course as more relevant material is contributed.


(See also: Greater White-fronted Goose x Cackling Goose
 


Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons
Canada Goose Branta canadensis
Lesser Canada Goose Branta canadensis parvipes

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