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Snow Geese

Chen caerulescens

Description:

25-31" (64-79 cm). Smaller than the domestic goose. Pure white with black wing tips; bill pink with black "lips"; legs pink. Young birds have dark bill and are mottled with brownish gray above. A dark phase, once considered a separate species called the "Blue Goose," has bluish-gray upperparts, brownish underparts, and white head and neck. Blue-phase birds have spread westward in recent decades and are now found locally throughout their winter range among the thousands of white Snow Geese.

Habitat:

Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge (HNWR), a haven for migratory birds and other wildlife, lies in northwestern Grayson County, Texas. It was established in 1946 as an overlay of a portion of the Big Mineral arm of Lake Texoma in north-central Texas. Consisting of about 12,000 acres, the refuge provides a variety of habitats for birds and wildlife. It is made up of water, marsh, and upland habitat. The main focus at HNWR is providing a winter home for thousands of waterfowl. Canada, snow, white-fronted, and Ross' geese along with pintail, mallard, gadwall and other ducks use refuge impoundments and fields as stop-over and wintering grounds. At times, as many as 10,000 geese can be seen in one field. Ducks such as mallards, northern shovelers, green-winged teal, and northern pintail are commonly seen on refuge waters during fall and winter months.

Notes:

It was cold and most of the shallow pond where the geese had congregated was frozen, except for a narrow strip along the edge.

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joanbstanley
Spotted by
joanbstanley

Texas, USA

Spotted on Jan 29, 2014
Submitted on Feb 2, 2014

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Snow Geese      dark morph/ blue goose Blue Goose, Snow Goose (dark morph) Snow Goose Northern Pintail Duck (female)

Reference

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