Date: 2/5/17 7:19 pm
From: Steve Ritt (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Swannanoa, NC: presumed Lesser Canada Goose - 2/5/17
> A quick drive through Owen Ponds in Swannanoa at 6 pm tonight revealed one Canada-ish Goose that was obviously smaller in all aspects than the 20-ish Canadas that were surrounding it. The overall size and the bill/head size and proportions were not small and stubby enough to pass for any Cackling Goose, and the colors of the bird were similar to the surrounding Canadas, lacking the gray upperparts and golden breast tones one would expect of a Richardson's/Hutchin's Cackling Goose (B. h. hutchinsii). Although a minimal, supporting characteristic, the breast does appear slightly darker than the surrounding Canadas in every photo I took. This, along with the general size, shape, and proportions, leave me confident that this bird shows no discerning characteristics of B. c. moffitti, and that the bird safely falls within the acceptable range for LESSER Canada Goose (B. c. parvipes).
> Although the status and distribution of the subspecies of Canada and Cackling Geese are now rapidly changing, I was still surprised tonight to find no information online regarding the S&D of these subspecies in the Carolinas. An eBird search shows only two records from Pea Island and Lake Matamuskeet, lacking any mountain or piedmont records. Thus, as far as I know, and if accepted, does this then make for the first (of many more to come) documented NC record of B. c. parvipes outside of the coastal plain? I'm sure the lack of data on this is due to birders overlooking these subspecies and the historical lack of information on subspecies identification.
> Photos are on the EMAS listserv.
> Steve Ritt
> San Diego, CA

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