Sunday, 23 February 2014

Greylag Goose x Canada Goose

Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Swanton Morley (Norfolk, UK), 8th March 2008 - copyright Dave Appleton
(photo ID: 0052)


One of the most easily seen and photographed hybrids, at least in north-west Europe.

Greylag Goose is, of course, the ancestor of many domestic geese.  Hybrids between domestic Greylag Goose and Canada Goose are more variable in appearance than hybrids between wild or feral Greylag Goose and Canada Goose.  This is not surprising as domestic Greylags are very variable, with some resembling their wild ancestors and others looking quite different.

On this page we have only included birds which appear to involve wild or feral Greylag Geese, not domestic Greylag Geese.  We have a separate page for hybrids between domestic Greylag Geese and Canada Geese.  Having said that, some domestic hybrids can be impossible to separate from feral or wild Greylag hybrids, so it is possible that the Greylag Goose parent of some of the birds on this page may also be domestic.

(See also: domestic Greylag Goose x Canada Goose, domestic (Swan Goose x Greylag Goose) x Canada Goose, Swan Goose x Canada Goose, Greylag Goose x Cackling Goose)





Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Swanton Morley (Norfolk, UK), 8th March 2008 - copyright Dave Appleton
(photo IDs: 0053-0056)





Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid (with Canada Goose), Swanton Morley (Norfolk, UK), 6th April 2009 - copyright Dave Appleton
(photo IDs: 0057-0060)


Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Turku (Finland), 10th October 2004 - copyright Henry Lehto
(photo ID: 2495)


Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid (with Canada Goose), Turku (Finland), 7th October 2004 - copyright Henry Lehto
(photo ID: 2496)


Henry thought the next bird had quite a heavy build so there's a possibility that the Greylag parent was domestic; however there is nothing in the plumage to give that away.

Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid (with Canada Geese), Turku (Finland), 2nd April 2006 - copyright Henry Lehto
(photo ID: 2497)


Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrids, Turku (Finland), 17th August 2007 - copyright Henry Lehto
(photo ID: 2498)


Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Turku (Finland), 6th April 2010 - copyright Henry Lehto
(photo ID: 2575)



Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Turku (Finland), 5th December 2011 - copyright Henry Lehto
(photo IDs: 2560-2561)



Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid (with Greylag Goose), Swanton Morley (Norfolk, UK), 24th June 2007 - copyright Dave Appleton
(photo IDs: 0061-0062)



Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid (with Canada Goose), Swanton Morley (Norfolk, UK), 20th September 2008 - copyright Dave Appleton
(photo IDs: 0063-0064)



Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Bittering (Norfolk, UK), 17th December 2004 - copyright Dave Appleton
(photo IDs: 0065-0066)












Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrids (with Canada Geese), Salthouse (Norfolk, UK), 28th October 2009 - copyright Dave Appleton
(photo IDs: 0067-0077)



Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid (with Canada Goose), Bylaugh (Norfolk, UK), 6th September 2008 - copyright Dave Appleton
(photo IDs: 0078-0079)


Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Swanton Morley (Norfolk, UK), 4th October 2007 - copyright Dave Appleton
(photo ID: 0080)


Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Bittering (Norfolk, UK), 26th August 2013 - copyright Dave Appleton
(photo ID: 0081)





Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Swanton Morley (Norfolk, UK), 29th May 2010 - copyright Dave Appleton
(photo IDs: 0082-0085)



Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid (with Canada Geese, another Greylag x Canada Goose and a Ross's Goose x Barnacle Goose hybrid), Salthouse (Norfolk, UK), 4th December 2010 - copyright Dave Appleton
(photo IDs: 0086-0087)





Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid (with Canada Geese), Swanton Morley (Norfolk, UK), 30th January 2011 - copyright Dave Appleton
(photo IDs: 0088-0091)




Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid (with Canada Goose), Swanton Morley (Norfolk, UK), 30th January 2011 (different individual to the one in photo IDs 0088-0091 above) - copyright Dave Appleton
(photo IDs: 0092-0093)




Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Swanton Morley (Norfolk, UK), 27th February 2011 - copyright Dave Appleton
(photo IDs: 0094-0095)






Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Swanton Morley (Norfolk, UK), 16th April 2011 - copyright Dave Appleton
(photo IDs: 0096-0099)



Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Wissington Beet Factory (Norfolk, UK), 17th March 2012 - copyright Dave Appleton
(photo ID: 0100)







Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid (with its presumed parents), Schrevenpark, Kiel (Germany), 18th November 2012 - copyright Joern Lehmhus
(photo IDs: 0564-0568)







Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid (with Greylag and Canada Geese), Schrevenpark, Kiel (Germany), 16th August 2011 (probably same bird as in photo IDs 0564-0568 above) - copyright Joern Lehmhus
(photo IDs: 0675-0679)






Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid (with Greylag Goose), Bonn (Germany), probably 2003 - copyright Joern Lehmhus
(photo IDs: 0817-0820)



Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Bonn (Germany), probably 2004 (same bird as in 0817-0820 having lost its colour ring) - copyright Joern Lehmhus
(photo IDs: 0821 & 0858)




Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrids, Skövde (Sweden), 14th October 2009 - copyright Carl Gunnar Gustavsson
(photo IDs: 0952-0954)



Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrids, Skövde (Sweden), 18th September 2009 - copyright Carl Gunnar Gustavsson
(photo IDs: 0960-0961)

















Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrids, Skövde (Sweden), 17th August 2009 - copyright Carl Gunnar Gustavsson
(photo IDs: 0972-0987)






Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrids (last two photos are same bird, other three are three different birds), Simrishamn (Sweden), 25th July 2009 - copyright Carl Gunnar Gustavsson
(photo IDs: 0988-0992)





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Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Skövde (Sweden), 19th September 2008 - copyright Carl Gunnar Gustavsson
(photo IDs: 1044-1051)


As the above photos demonstrate, this hybid normally has extensive pink or pinky-orange colour on the bill, albeit often rather dusky and with some degree of black.  The next bird is highly unusual if it is simply a Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid as it has a predominantly black bill.  But what else could it be?




probable Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrids, Simrishamn (Sweden), 12th September 2009 - copyright Carl Gunnar Gustavsson
(photo IDs: 0963-0965)



The next one was in a zoo but fully-winged and, unlike most other geese there, unringed.  It shows a swollen cheek and throat, but we don't know the reason for this.



Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Springe (Lower Saxony, Germany), 1st February 2013 - copyright Joern Lehmhus
(photo IDs: 1629-1631)








Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Alexandra Park, Oldham (Greater Manchester, UK), August 2011 - copyright Steve Graby
(photo IDs: 1981-1986)





Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrids (with Canada Goose), Peasholm Park, Scarborough (North Yorkshire, UK), 24th June 2013 - copyright Steve Graby
(photo IDs: 1993-1996)



Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, location not given (UK), 15th May 2013 - copyright Steve Graby
(photo IDs: 2182-2183)


The following goslings were accompanied by a mixed pair of Greylag Goose and Canada Goose, though that in itself does not prove that they young are hybrids.  Geese may adopt goslings that do not belong to them, or the mother may have mated with a different male.  I have no information that these birds were followed to see how they developed when fledged.


possible Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid goslings (with Greylag Goose and Canada Goose), location not given (UK), 15th May 2013 - copyright Steve Graby
(photo IDs: 2184-2185)


Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Hornsea Mere (North Yorkshire, UK), 28th March 2009 - copyright Mark Coates
(photo ID: 2095)


Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, River Foss, York (North Yorkshire, UK), 4th May 2013 - copyright Mark Coates
(photo ID: 2096)


Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, River Foss, York (North Yorkshire, UK), 7th May 2009 - copyright Mark Coates
(photo ID: 2097)


Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Ouse Bridge, central York (North Yorkshire, UK), 9th June 2009 - copyright Mark Coates
(photo ID: 2098)


Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, location not specified (UK), 6th April 2014 - copyright Mark Coates
(photo ID: 2099)


Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Buckton (Yorkshire, UK), 21st March 2015 - copyright Mark Coates
(photo ID: 2142)


A few extra flecks of white on this bird may perhaps indicate a domestic origin for the Greylag parent, but I'm not sure it's out of range for normal wild/feral Greylag hybrids.  Another hybrid photographed at the same time resembled domestic Swan Goose x Canada Goose and when I first reviewed these photos several years ago I imagined the two birds must be siblings, so concluded that the grey goose parent was a domestic bird of mixed ancestry.  In hindsight I think it's more likely that they weren't siblings, and in that case there is no need to assume any Swan Goose ancestry for this bird.



Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Grovelands Park, Southgate (London, UK), 27th March 2008 - copyright Katy M ("BlueyBirdy")
(photo IDs: 2353-2355)


Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Grovelands Park, Southgate (London, UK), 6th January 2010 - copyright Katy M ("BlueyBirdy")
(photo ID: 2361)


Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Grovelands Park, Southgate (London, UK), 12th June 2010 - copyright Katy M ("BlueyBirdy")
(photo ID: 2364)


Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Waal en Burg, Natte Blok (Texel, Netherlands), 25th September 2010 - copyright Joern Lehmhus
(illus. ID: 2428)


I am not sure about the next bird.  The dark clear-cut breast suggests Barnacle Goose involvement but to my eyes this does not look like a Greylag Goose x Barnacle Goose hybrid.  I think we have seen Canada hybrids showing dark breast before and this seems to have a head pattern like Greylag x Canada (so far as I can tell at this angle).  It's a bit dark on the belly though compared to most of the birds above.  Maybe a different angle would reveal some more clues...

possible Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Harbridge (Hampshire, UK), 26th December 2015 - copyright Olly Frampton
(photo ID: 2175)


This one seems more straightforward...

Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrid, Walthamstow Reservoirs (Greater London, UK), 1st July 2007 - copyright David Darrell-Lambert
(photo ID: 2689)


These two birds were at the same location as another three Greylag x Canada hybrids that showed clear evidence of domestic ancestry.  It is possible that these also had a domestic Greylag as a parent, but that is not obvious if so.


Greylag Goose x Canada Goose hybrids (different birds), Wissington (Norfolk, UK), 24th February 2017 - copyright Dave Appleton
(photo IDs: 3084-3085)



Greylag Goose Anser anser
Canada Goose Branta candensis

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