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Aleutian Cackling Goose

Branta hutchinsii leucopareia


Usually when you see these you think Canada Geese, but these are smaller then the Canada. Formally a subspecies they are now a separate species away from the Canada Geese. There are 4 subspecies of the Cackling Geese. Richardson's Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii hutchinsii),Taverner's Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii taverneri), Aleutian Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii leucopareia). Small Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii minima)
The latter two can be found wintering in California. Like Canada Geese it has a black head and neck, with a white chin strap, white rump and black tail.
The "Aleutian" has a short neck but slightly longer neck then the "Small Cackling" and a short bill. It does though have white collar between the black neck and pale brown chest. The Canada Geese can weigh up to 15lbs the Aleutian weights about 5lbs.


Wintering I noticed these on grassy flat hills above the bay shoreline and landfills.


Spotted a large flock on top of an old landfill near the shoreline. Mostly find the Cackling geese not far from the Canada Geese.

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1 Comment

keithp2012 7 years ago

Mabye in description you could explain how to tell these apart from Canada geese as they can be easily confused

Spotted by

California, USA

Lat: 37.65, Long: -122.15

Spotted on Feb 15, 2013
Submitted on Feb 15, 2013

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