Date: 12/19/17 7:16 pm
From: Richard Bradus <grizzledjay...> [SFBirds] <SFBirds-noreply...>
Subject: [SFBirds] Unusual Geese - Question
I visited Spreckles Lake today and, along with some help from Lee and Oscar, was able to see the Red-necked Grebe as well as the Snow Goose and four Greater White-fronted Geese, all apparently immature or first winter birds. Also a beautiful male Hooded Merganser.
Consulting my guidebooks, however, I am now confused. Both the National Geographic and Sibley guides indicate the size of both the Snow and Greater White-fronted Geese to be 28 inches, with the Tundra race of White-fronted (the most likely to winter in coastal CA) as being somewhat larger. Yet the Snow Goose, today swimming and preening with the White-fronteds, appears clearly larger than the others in direct comparison.
Are the guidebooks wrong, do we have an unusual specimen or hybrid, or is there more to the story? Any further information or insight would be much appreciated.
Richard BradusSan Francisco
 
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