Goose Trio at Southport, Brunswick Co., NC

Chen caerulescens Snow Goose, Chen rossii Ross's Goose

Greg Massey found this Ross's Goose with one blue and one white Snow Goose during the Southport Christmas Bird Count on 1/5/02. Quite a combo! Normally the ratio of Ross's:Snow in North Carolina is 1:1000 or more. I believe this is the first count record for Ross's and second for Snow Goose. They were still there on 1/9/02 when I took these shots. The Ross's has a collar that says "0K" on one side.

Update: On 8/6/2003 Kathy Meeres, a Wildlife Technician with the Canadian Wildlife Service, contacted me about the collared Ross's. She said the bird was one they banded and, with a closer look look at other photos, we determined that the collar reads "P-0K". She writes:

Here is some information about your Ross's goose: She was banded as an adult female on August 7, 1999, near the Simpson River in the Queen Maud Gulf Sanctuary (67.2° N 100.1° W). There has been one other sighting of this bird - in Louisiana on Dec. 4, 2002. I checked my neckband observation records as well as legband returns (mostly hunter shot birds) for all records of banded Ross's geese in the Atlantic Flyway and found only 6 records, none of them from North Carolina. We have a web-site with a little information about the white goose neckbanding effort. Thanks for responding and confirming the code for this goose and let me know if you see any more of them!

All photographs and text ©2013 by Will Cook unless otherwise noted.