Friday, August 20, 2010

Lesser Canada Goose

Once again from the lake in Eureka Springs, I have chosen to profile the Lesser Canada Goose.

At one time all Canada Geese were "Canada Geese."  However, I believe it was in 1984 that the Canada Goose was reclassified with sub-species to include the Lesser Canada and the Cackling Goose.

All three of these groups of Canada Geese have a very similar look and coloring. The main distinction lies in the body size, shape of head and size of beak.

This was my first time to see the Lesser Canada. They were obviously smaller than the thousands of Canada Geese that migrate through Ottawa.

There were about 50 geese in this group. Often a Cackling Goose will appear among the flocks of Canada and Lesser geese. I scanned the group and reviewed photos but I did not find a Cackling Goose among them.

However, what I did find were many young goslings. This seemed like a safe place for them to find their wings. As we know there are many predators in Arkansas that can upset raising a family on the water. This area seemed to be free of immediate threats.

This immature Lesser Canada Goose shows faint shades of its adult markings.  If time permitted, these young geese would have been ideal for a full day's observation.  Another time, maybe.

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