Saturday, September 21, 2013

Snow Goose--Chen caerulescens

Snow Goose has dark eyes, pinkish bill, and a prominent black "grin patch."

Snow Geese are rare, but they are regularly seen in Orange County because California and thus Orange County are on the migration route to their Canadian breeding grounds.

With the hungry, gluttonous ducks and coots feeding on handouts.  Kind of makes me sad.

Snow Geese are often seen in groups, but in the OC we often see then alone or with a few other Snow Geese.

Snow Goose swimming in a lake in a small neighborhood park.

Notice the black wing tips.

Notice the pink legs.

Notice the tint on the head.

What're you looking at?  Notice the yellowish coloring tinting the face.

Notice the very prominent black grin patch.

Differentiating Snow Geese from domestic, white geese

Larger Domestic Goose--Large, with Orange legs and bill.   Notice the large looking belly.   The Snow Goose would be smaller and have a smaller belly.    All white wings.

Orange eye ring, smaller light-colored grin patch. All white.  The Snow Goose has no orange eye ring, dark eyes, and a pink bill with a black grin patch.

Unlike the dark-eyed Snow Goose, the domestic goose has blue eyes.

Snow Geese and Ross's Geese

 Here, a Ross's Goose hangs out in a San Fernando Valley park with other geese.  Notice he has the same coloring as the Snow Goose, but the Ross's Goose is much smaller.  The Ross's Goose has no tinting on the head or neck.  Whiter overall head and neck than the Snow Goose.  The bill is much smaller proportionally than the Snow Goose, and can show a bit of green coloring at the base.   The Ross's Goose may have a much smaller and less obvious grin patch.   

The Snow Goose has a larger bill compared to the Ross's Goose, and a large, dark grin patch.  Unlike the domestic goose, the Snow Goose has dark eyes vs. the domestic's blue eyes.  The Snow Goose black wing tips unlike the white wings of the domestic goose.  The Snow Goose has a pink bill and legs unlike the orange bill and legs of the domestic goose.

OC Birder Girl Links

Wild Ducks of Orange County

Odd Ducks

Bird Walks and Nature Programs in and Near Orange County

Orange County Bird Check Lists

Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns of Orange County


All About Birds: Snow Goose

Detailed page about the Snow Goose. Although it is multiplying, it is still a rare bird in Orange County. Read all about the Snow Goose.

All About Birds:  Ross's Goose

Detailed page about the Ross's Goose.  Rare in Orange County.

Confusing Domestic Geese (and hybrids)

From Cornell. Some confusing geese.

Snow Geese Fuel up for Migration

Read more about Snow Geese.  


Anonymous said...

I'm a Canadian birder and I'm looking for somewhere to bird next week in Anaheim. Help?
Thanks, Heidi

Orange County Birder Girl said...

Thanks for stopping by, Heidi. The great thing about Orange County is the number of great birding areas. If you go north from Anaheim on State Street, you will come to Craig Regional Park. It is a terrific park with a wide variety of birds including Western Bluebirds, and Wood Ducks. I recommend heading for the lake for starters. Follow the stream. There is a $3 entrance fee on weekdays, and $5 on the weekend.

Craig Regional Park
3300 State College Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92835
Phone: (714) 973-3180

Also, check out Oak Canyon Nature Center in Anaheim Hills just east of Anaheim. It is a 58-acre natural park of three connected canyons with streams and lots of birds.

Oak Canyon Nature Center
6700 E. Walnut Canyon Rd.
Anaheim, CA 92807
Phone: (714)998-8380

Yorba Regional Park charges the same fees as Craig Regional Park. It also has Wood Ducks. It is a great park for birding, but it runs along the freeway which you cannot see but you can sure hear it. The park has a lake and a stream.

Yorba Regional Park
7600 E. La Palma
Anaheim, CA 92807
(714)973-6615 or (714)973-6838

Also, scroll down my blog and look at the links on the right hand side. Just under the blog archive is a section on birding hotspots in Orange County. Check it out for more suggestions on good places to bird.

Hope you have a wonderful trip to the OC. Thanks again for stopping by. OC Birder Girl