Sunday, September 28, 2008

Domestic Goose Hybrid (Swan Goose?) in Farm Country

I just keep striking out today. First, I can't find my Sibley Guide (that's what moving will do to you) and now the Cornell bird site, All About Birds, is down. With the resources I have available I've come to the conclusion this is a White-fronted Goose, although I can't find pictures of any with such a huge bump on the beak. I first was looking at pictures of the Greylag Goose, but they were lacking the white band at the base of its beak.

These pictures were taken right after we moved into our new place in Bridgewater, aka "Farm Country" according to me. I've always been able to identify the region where I lived—I grew up on Cape Cod, I went to college in Central Pennsylvania, I've been living in and around Boston for the last 5 years. Now that we've moved to Bridgewater I'm at a loss. Maybe we live on the South Shore? That's the closest 'region' name I've been able to come up with so I decided to make up my own since I don't really feel like we live on the South Shore. I like Farm Country :)
And how appropriate that the first birding pic I took in our new town is of an agricultural bird! We were exploring the conservation land behind our house and came up on this large goose wading in this little river.

Here are some other pictures from the day:

Notice the birdhouse in this last picture. There are several throughout the conservation area. I can't wait to go back there again. The last few trips I made with my camera I didn't have much luck. I'm hoping to catch some migratory birds- that is, if they stop over in Farm Country. I hope so!


Anonymous said...

I'm no expert in domestic geese, but that goose has to be some sort of weird domesticated goose, or a descendant thereof. It just looks way too weird.

Christopher said...

Looks like what you have there is one 'mutt' of a goose. Combination of domestic goose with a "Swan Goose"
(yes, they actually exist - google it!)Probably an escapee from a local farm that keeps geese, as I don't believe that there has ever been a swan goose "naturally" in the eastern US.
There is some great birding down your way, as I am sure you'll discover. Eddie Giles & Glenn d'Entremont lead some great trips for the BBC on the south shore (Eddie lives in East Bridgewater) and the South Shore Bird Club (SSBC) does too. Congratulations on the move, and hope you find your Sibley soon!

Bennet said...

I agree with Christopher, I think it's some sort of domestic Swan Goose. I had seen one along with a Greylag Goose on a private residence while I was taking part in a waterfowl count last December. I was all excited and reported it, but it wasn't accepted. Call me crazy, but I was kind of pleased to see a different type of goose (domestic or not)! Great pics, btw.

Birdinggirl said...

@grant: Thanks for the tip- I assumed it was some type of domesticated goose, but was having trouble putting my finger on it.

@christopher: Thanks for the tips on the goose- I Googled images of a swan goose, which is a great fit since it has the bump on the beak I was look for. Thanks too for the tips about birding spots. I'll have to look up those groups you mentioned. I'm excited about the move too- I'm glad to still have waterways nearby. Yes- I found my Sibley Guide- it was still in my car from my last trip!

Larry said...

Those type of Geese have fooled me in the past.-I always have someone look at my photos when I'm not sure-either at birdforum or just one of the hotshot birders at one of the bird clubs.-It's all fun though-part of the leaning experience.-Nice pics too!

Birdinggirl said...

@Larry- good suggestion. Thanks! I'll try and get into the habit of using those sites. I should get around to updating the title so as not to mislead anyone.

Anonymous said...

Looks at least part Chinese goose.