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6918Dark-morph Ross's Goose

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  • birding11
    Dec 18, 2007
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      As California seems to get most of the dark-morph Ross's Geese, I was
      hoping that some of you that are might see a few of these birds would
      look at some photos of a bird I found in TN. My only experience with
      this bird was one at the Salton Sea a couple of years ago.

      I posted 5 shots on my Pbase site, starting here:


      The shots are a little distant.

      This bird was part of flock of about 3000 Snow Geese, about a 50/50
      split white to dark. Good numbers of Ross's were in the group as
      well. We are seeing more and more Ross's all the time here in the
      Mississippi River Valley, and though people are looking for them, to
      knowledge this is the 1st promising bird from TN.

      The bird struck me initially by how black it was, along with the neat
      white face encased in black. Structurally, I couldn't tell any
      difference in this bird and classic Ross's when side-by-side in
      either size or bill characters. This bird had a straight border to
      the bill, lacked any grin patch, and had the bluish base to the bill.
      The head was nicely rounded. The coverts and tertials contrasted
      strikingly white against the blackish body, but don't always show
      that bright in some of the photos for some reason.

      So far the opinion is it looks pretty good for a dark Ross's, but I
      was wondering if it would be considered such on their home grounds.
      Photos are very scarce, though it looks to be a dead-ringer match to
      the one posted in the Calbirds photo under Waterfowl back in 2003.

      Thanks for any and all comments.

      Mike Todd
      McKenzie, TN
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