Cackling Goose - Ionia Co. YES

Dmcwhir513 at Dmcwhir513 at
Thu Sep 30 20:37:54 EDT 2004


Don Chalfant and I had two Cackling Geese at the Lakewood wastewater system 
today - 30 Sep 04 - shortly after noon.  See the earlier posting by Kevin 
Thomas for directions and other pertinent information.

Glenn Belyea was there earlier and saw 9 Cackling Geese - probably the two we 
saw, one swimming, and another group of six that were likely dozing on the 
back side of the eastmost dike when we were there.

After we signed in at the office, we walked straight east to the west dike of 
the large eastmost pond.  This dike runs north and south.  The two birds we 
had were towards the north end and were busy grazing during our stay.  They 
were not wary and allowed us many leisurely looks.

The birds seemed to be straight-up Richardson's form of the Cackling Goose or 
B. h. hutchinsii, having all the attributes mentioned in the various postings 
and in literature available to me.  In addition, it seems to me that the feet 
are proportionally shorter than the Canada Geese available for comparison.  

This is the subspecies of Cackling most likely to occur in Michigan and it 
should be the easiest to identify.  Small, dark-breasted forms might be another 

We also had a dozing Snow Goose, a rare inland Sanderling, and a nice 
assortment of ducks.

Earlier in the day, I birded the area where Montcalm, Kent and Newago 
counties are contiguous and had several nice flocks of sparrows including 3 Lincoln's 
and my first White-crowns and Fox of the season - all in excellent plumage.

Take care - Doug McWhirter
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