Although it was once considered a diminutive form of Canada Goose, genetic research has shown the Cackling Goose to be a separate species. Its small voice fits nicely its small size. Cacklers breed along the coast of Alaska and winter from Washington south to Mexico. Watch for both species - and more! - at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in southwest Washington. There's a BirdFest and Blue Grass Festival at the Ridgefield NWR October 7th and 8th, 2017.
Cacklers and Canadas
Written by Bob Sundstrom
This is BirdNote!
[Honking of larger form of Canada Goose, such as local resident moffitti/Western Canada Goose]
The syncopated honks of Canada Geese [Same honking, in the background] were once an unmistakable herald of autumn migration, as V-shaped flocks flew south. In recent decades, however, growing numbers of Canada Geese have remained in the Northwest throughout the year. [Honking of larger form of Canada Goose] One reason is the proliferation of suburban lawns and golf courses.
Still, as October arrives, another voice tells us that not all geese have forsaken their migratory ways. [Higher pitched Cackling Geese calls] You are hearing Cackling Geese, which sound like a falsetto version of the familiar Canada Goose.
[Cackling Goose calls]
Cackling Geese resemble a toy version of Canadas. Just a bit bigger than a Mallard, this compact goose has a dark breast, short neck, and stubby bill. Its small voice fits nicely its small size. [Cackling Goose calls] Although once considered a diminutive form of Canada Goose, recent genetic research shows Cacklers to be a separate species. They breed along the coast of Alaska and winter from Washington south to Mexico.
Look, and listen, for pint-sized Cackling Geese this fall at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in southwest Washington and other spots where migratory geese gather.
[Cackling Goose calls]
For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.
Bird audio provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Canada Goose calls recorded by W.W.H. Gunn. Cackling Goose calls recorded by G.A.Keller.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2012 Tune In to Nature.org October 2017 Narrator: Michael Stein
ID# 101107geeseKPLU CCGOCAGO-02b