Saturday, August 8, 2009

Canada Goose x Graylag Goose Hybrid

Posted by Kirk
I've been away from blogging a bit but will return shortly with some updates on the Rocks and Fossils class I taught this past week. In the mean time, I thought I would post this photo I took in Norway back in September of 2006. While I was there I shot some photos and I'd forgotten about this one. That is clearly a Canada Goose on the left but the bird swimming with it on the right sure looked strange. The body seemed pretty normal but there are a number of strange plumage issues. First off, the neck is brown rather than black and it fades out at the bottom instead of having a sharp line. The white stirrup on the head is likewise wider than normal. It starts to extend down the neck and has a poorly defined edge. There is also a white ring around the base of the bill and it has a white eye ring. What was up with this bird?

As the title of the post suggests, I recently figured out what the issue was with this bird. I had my suspicions since this bird was also hanging out with a pair of Graylag Geese. I did some research on line to confirm the cross but this is indeed a Canada Goose X Graylag Goose hybrid. I found several similar examples online. Pretty interesting.



Unknown said...

Interesting - I wasn't familiar with the graylag goose before. I was wondering earlier this summer about a possible hybrid duck I was seeing here in Northfield, hanging about with some young mallards.

Glad to have found your blog.

Kirk said...

Hello Penelope. Thanks for stopping by. That sure is an interesting duck! Hopefully it will stick around for a while so you can see if it changes.