Date: 1/7/19 1:25 pm From: Paul Hurtado <paul.j.hurtado...> Subject: [cobirds] "Greenland" Geese in CO
With the crazy mix of geese currently in northern CO, I wanted to encourage birders to be on the alert to carefully document Greater White-fronted Geese while searching for the Barnacle and Pink-footed Geese.
Greenland forms of Greater White-fronted Goose (GWFG) are separable in the field from the usual form we see in winter, and documenting the presence of these or any of our usual species of geese from Greenland or northeastern Canada would add to our understanding of where these birds might have come from (e.g., banded or collared Snow Geese).
If you photographed any GWFG while chasing either of these rarities over the past few weeks, do take some time to check for Greenland forms, and report back if you documented any. :-)
Lastly, 1 of a pair of Barnacle Geese was shot by a hunter in northeastern CO a couple of weeks ago on 12/23/2018. Like the Barnacle Goose in Fredrick, it had both hind toes and no bands. This could very well be that 2nd bird! The harvested bird might get feather and/or tissue analyses done to determine provenance (I'm trying to get an update on this, so if you're in the loop I'd appreciate an update). IMO the outcome of that analysis has some weight in thinking about whether or not this latest bird "counts".
Good birding, Paul Hurtado Reno, NV and Pueblo, CO