Previous Page - Table of Contents - Next Page


Geese: Sub-family Anserinæ

Two species of Goose occur in New York and New England: one is the well-known Canada or Wild Goose, often heard honking overhead, occasionally seen in inland ponds or along the sea-coast; the other, the Brant, occurs as a migrant along the coast.

BRANT. Branta bernicla
26.00 in.

Ad.— Head, neck, and upper breast black; streaks of white on the sides of the neck; back and wings brown; belly whitish; tail black, base white.

The Brant is a migrant along the coast in March and April, and in October and November. It keeps well out along the shore, and is found in numbers only at certain points, such as Monomoy on Cape Cod, and on Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. Here the Brant sometimes occur in great flocks, which rest in long lines on the sand-bars, or feed at the edge of the flats, tearing up eel-grass by the roots. They may be known from the Canada Goose by the smaller size, by the absence of white on the throat, and by the black breast.

[The Brant is a common Winter resident of the coast of Long Island, NY.]

CANADA GOOSE. Branta canadensis
35.00 - 43.00 in.

Ad.— Head and neck black; broad bib of white from sides of head across throat; back and wings brown; under parts whitish; tail black, base white.

The Wild Goose is more often heard than seen, excepting perhaps on the sea-shore. The honking of migrant flocks was once a common sound in March and April, and again from the first of October to the end of December. At favorable points along the coast, and in certain inland ponds, flocks often alight to rest. They then ride on the water, or stand on exposed bars, or feed by pulling up vegetation in the shallow water. When seen at close range, they are easily identified by the black head and neck, and the bib of white across the throat; when flying, they usually form a wedge-shaped flock, two lines converging at a leader. The wing-strokes are then rather slow, compared with those of a duck.

[CACKLING GOOSE]. Branta hutchinsii
42.50 - 43.70 in.

Uncommon but somewhat regular winter visitors to Southern New England and Long Island. Single individuals mixed among very common Canada Geese. They were considered the same species as the Canada Goose for a long time.

[MUTE SWAN]. Cygnus olor
55.00 - 63.00 in.

Missing in original book as it wasn't a native bird of this area in the early 20th century. It was brought from Europe for parks and recreation activities but, eventually, individuals escaped and created a wild population.

[PINK-FOOTED GOOSE]. Anser brachyrhynchus
53.00 - 67.00 in.

These Greenland and Northern European geese often show up in the Northeast US in low numbers.

51.00 - 65.00 in.

Very rare in our area but occasional visitor.

[SNOW GOOSE]. Anser caerulescens
53.00 - 65.00 in. of wingspan

Nowadays they can be found in Southern New England and on Long Island during winter time.

Previous Page - Table of Contents - Next Page