Friday 14 December 2012

Snow Goose in Waterloo!

This morning Ken Burrell texted me to say he re-found the Cackling Goose at Columbia Lake that was found earlier this month.
I was already headed in that direction so I conveniently stopped by to get the species for my month list :p

Then this afternoon I was surprised by another text from a local birder about a Snow Goose on campus! I quickly jumped on my bike and found it right where it was supposed to be:

A beautiful adult blue-morph Lesser Snow Goose :)

Lesser and Greater Snow Geese are difficult to distinguish. Of course, there is a difference in size, but it isn't significant and is unreliable unless comparing directly with other geese. Check out Jean Iron's article about the two sub-species here.

The blue-morph is predominant in the Lesser subspecies, while the blue-morph is very rare in the Greater subspecies. The Greater subspecies rarely, if ever, migrates through South Western Ontario. They stick to a very well defined route along the St Lawrence river.
Considering the time of year, location and colour morph, it's safe to say that this is a lesser Snow Goose.

This was a new year bird for me and a great bird before my last full day in Waterloo for the year!