Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What the... Goose!

This morning, when I arrived at East Fork, I spotted a large bird flying in from the north while still in my car.  It had white wings and black primary and secondary flight feathers.  I at first thought American White Pelican and as the bird got closer, I thought Snow Goose.  When it landed on the grass by the beach as I was getting out of the car, I was surprised by what I saw.

A Bar-headed Goose!

Bar-headed Goose

Bar-headed Goose

I have never seen one before, but was familiar with the species.  This bird is native to Asia and most likely is an escape or a bird that was dumped into the wild.  They have become established in Britain.  The bird can't be added to life lists if you follow the rules, but I am not a lister and really don't get into that kind of thing.  That being said, I do believe that this bird lives a "wild" life.  It was very skittish as compared to the nearby Canada Geese that it later joined up with.

Bar-headed Goose

I could see both halluxes, the back toe or "claw".  Many breeders cut one off.  This bird was not pinioned, as it could fly very well.  A while back, one was found in Covington, KY on the Ohio River.  It was clearly pinioned and had its right hallux chopped off.  Here is a discussion of that bird on Cincybirds:

A very odd bird to say the least.  It is still a very nice looking bird with a very funny sound.

For more on the bird in the wild, see here:  from Wikipedia.

No comments:

Post a Comment