Date: 3/21/18 7:45 am From: Andrea Bean <abean60...> Subject: [MASSBIRD] Topsfield Fair Grounds Cackling Goose imposters
I'm writing this massbird post in hopes that it helps other birders like me who struggle with identifying cackling geese. With the exception of the cackling goose that was reported by Suzanne Sullivan, the ones that are down there now and that have been reported from the fairgrounds are not cackling geese but are in fact a small Canada geese. This has been confirmed by a member of the Ebird staff who has also been kind enough to go in to detail as to why they are not a cackling goose. I am attaching my ebird list that has photos of the 2 small canada geese that are currently down the fairgrounds. You can see how easily they would be confused for cackling geese going only by body size and bill size. What I have learned from him and my friend Lisa, and wanted to share with anyone interested, is that there are 4 points that have to be covered and ALL of them must be present. They are small size, and stubby bill, and different shape, and different plumage. I also learned that it is very important to get photos of as many angles of the goose as you can, to eliminate any doubt . Especially if the goose you are looking at was not one already confirmed.
Anyway, here is the list if anyone is interested in looking at the cackling geese imposters.