Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ross's X Snow Goose Hybrid?

I pulled off back at Stearns this evening and took my bins, (no camera), and went out to walk the lake. Sure enough I get to the water and spot a white head. I took a good look and thought the isolated white head was different from the previous Snow Goose. I ran to the parking lot, grabbed camera, ran back, attempted to hold still for the extended low light exposure...yeah right. Well I got a few picks.
The lack of white on the neck and apparent white on the belly are Ross's indicators. The sloped forehead, size, and lack of white tertials are Snow traits. It seems strange that both birds, different individuals based on picture comparison, are "blue" (dark morphs). Apparently the white forms are more common, but I haven't seen them yet.

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