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Dark-morph Ross's Goose

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  • birding11
    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
    Message 1 of 3 , 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:

      http://www.pbase.com/mctodd/image/90426578

      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
      birder1@...
      www.pbase.com/mctodd
    • Bob Miller
      Hi all, Not that I am an expert on blue Ross s Goose but I am pretty sure that you have TWO blue Ross s Geese in those photos! One is clearly an adult blue
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 18, 2007
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        Hi all,

        Not that I am an expert on blue Ross's Goose but I am pretty sure that you have TWO blue Ross's Geese in those photos! One is clearly an adult blue Ross's but the one to the left of it in the first and last pics is an immature blue Ross's! But alas, I retain weatherman's rights on bird identification.....I could be wrong!

        -----Original Message-----
        >From: birding11 <birder1@...>
        >Sent: Dec 18, 2007 7:56 AM
        >To: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: [CALBIRDS] Dark-morph Ross's Goose
        >
        >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:
        >
        >http://www.pbase.com/mctodd/image/90426578
        >
        >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
        >birder1@...
        >www.pbase.com/mctodd
        >
        >


        (!__!)
        (0V0) HAPPY BIRDING
        {}~~{} BOB MILLER
        =='''='''==

        Southwest Birders
        108 West I Street
        Brawley, CA. 92227
        Imperial County
        760-455-1413
        http://www.southwestbirders.com
        bob.miller@...
      • Guy McCaskie
        Mike, The adult in all four shots is indeed an adult dark-morph Ross s Goose. Two dark-morph Ross s Geese, an adult and an immature, were with the white geese
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 19, 2007
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          Mike,

          The adult in all four shots is indeed an adult dark-morph Ross's Goose. Two dark-morph Ross's Geese, an adult and an immature, were with the white geese at the south end of the Salton Sea through the winter of 2004-2005 (North American Birds 59:323) with a photograph of the adult published (North American Birds 59:324). As you correctly noted, these birds are the same size and shape as the white Ross's Geese. They are noticeably blacker than the dark-morph Snow Geese, with the white on the head and neck restricted to the face. Because these birds are blacker than the dark-morph Snow Geese, the white on the tertials is more obvious than that on the dark-morph Snow Geese. All (about half-a-dozen) of the dark-morph Ross's Geese that I have seen have had white under-parts, which I believe is normal.

          I believe the goose immediately ahead of the adult dark-morph Ross's Goose in the first shot is the immature present - the face on this bird was not the clean white as on the adult.

          Guy McCaskie
          954 Grove Avenue
          Imperial Beach, CA 91932
          619-423-7524

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: birding11
          To: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2007 7:56 AM
          Subject: [CALBIRDS] Dark-morph Ross's Goose


          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:

          http://www.pbase.com/mctodd/image/90426578

          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
          birder1@...
          www.pbase.com/mctodd





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