Sunday, January 30, 2011
This male Eastern Towhee decided my yard was a fantastic spot and has moved in for the time being. I wonder where he was until now!
A more surprising yard visitor has been this Field Sparrow, a rare bird in Connecticut in winter. I have never had one visiting my bird feeders before, though I have heard of it happening in adverse conditions.
A pair of Peregrine Falcons has been hunting at Long Beach in Stratford on a regular basis. They can often be found sitting in the small trees or the power lines near the entrance to the beach.
My Dark-eyed Junco with unknown eye-rings is still here. It certainly does look like some type of fungus or infection, but the bird seems fine. Perhaps it is something else...
Finally, these three male Redheads were with a female at Stratford Point on Friday.
The species has been seen in the area often recently, from one to four birds at a time. Stop by to see them soon before they're gone.
Photos © Scott Kruitbosch
Friday, January 28, 2011
All of the birds are common backyard species except for the Rusty Blackbird male and female who decided to stop by for a snack during the harsh weather. Do not forget the Rusty Blackbird Blitz starts tomorrow!
Video © Scott Kruitbosch with music © the ZREO team
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
The shoreline was active as ever with hundreds of waterfowl and gulls present in the intertidal zone. You just could barely see them!
Monday, January 24, 2011
If everyone reading this who lives in Connecticut or any state with Rusty Blackbirds could be please so kind as to keep an eye out for them and log the results in eBird (http://ebird.org) that would be fantastic. You will be doing a great service to conservation and a species that is plummeting in number before our eyes. We would love to have as many details as possible - exact locations, the sex of the birds, what they were doing, what they foraged for, the habitat they were found in, and so forth. More information on all of this can be found on the Rusty Blackbird overview page on the Smithsonian's Migratory Bird Center website, I site I mentioned yesterday as it is home to the International Rusty Blackbird Technical Working Group: http://nationalzoo.si.edu/scbi/migratorybirds/research/rusty_blackbird/
If you have any questions about Rusty Blackbirds, the blitz, eBird, or would rather directly send me your Rusty Blackbird sightings during that time (or any time you see a Rusty Blackbird), please feel free to do so. Thank you so much in advance - I know we can find some "new" Rusty Blackbirds and all of you will provide us with some great information! While we are particularly interested in finding large groups of them, even just one Rusty Blackbird visiting your yard for a day in that period is very important (and so is their absence where they would be typically found). So, once again, please do not hesitate to email me about any of this.
Photo © Scott Kruitbosch
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Due at least in part to the group's work, blackbird control practices (the killing of large flocks of blackbird species in certain areas in order to protect agriculture, prevent disease being spread among livestock, etc.) have been reexamined. Effective January 1 the Rusty Blackbird was removed from the federal depredation order on blackbird species. This means they can no longer be killed for control practices without a permit (and no one is going to get one to do so). Further measures were also taken, and they are causing a bit of negative stir from expected sources.
The objections seem to come from the new reporting requirements for birds killed under the order and the new requirement that all shot be non-toxic (not lead). Lead can harm the Rusty Blackbird, as well as the environment and other species in numerous ways, so the legal killing of blackbirds cannot be done via lead shot. More reporting requirements were put in place so that we have a better idea of what/how/when concerning blackbird control efforts as well as ensuring the Rusty Blackbird remains protected. Blackbirds can no longer legally be taken without the appropriate documentation.
There is a short period that Congress can review and nullify these new rules but we hope that will not be the case. If you would like to look over the full details of the new rule, you can find it here: http://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2010/12/02/2010-30288/migratory-bird-permits-removal-of-rusty-blackbird-and-tamaulipas-mexican-crow-from-the-depredation#p-3
So what is next? The third Rusty Blackbird Blitz, January 29-February 13, where scientists and volunteers go into the field to record in detail every Rusty Blackbird they can find, with the results being put into eBird. I will post more information on that tomorrow. I hope you can join us then and help save the Rusty Blackbird!
Friday, January 21, 2011
Photos © Scott Kruitbosch
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Moments before I found a female Redhead swimming and diving in the same area. I got some wonderful looks before she flushed and flew back towards the lighthouse. Speaking of that area, it seems as if the thousands of sea ducks have left us. Whether it is the date as we near the end of January, exhaustion of the food supply there, frequent passes by hunters, or something else, there were only handfuls of scoter and scaup around today. Long-tailed Ducks have been more scarce recently though plenty of Common Goldeneye and Red-breasted Merganser continue. The most impressive numbers remain the American Wigeon along with Gadwall and American Black Duck, together numbering 300 to 400 birds at times between Stratford Point and Short Beach.
Upland areas have been predictably slower than usual, but there are some nice highlights on most days. Northern Harriers and the occasional Rough-legged Hawk can be spotted hunting the grasslands. Passerines of the open country have been enjoying grasses exposed by the strong winds of the point as well as the plowed driveway and edges. Below is a Savannah Sparrow taking advantage of that.
One very nice somewhat scarce winter species we have seen a lot of is this Field Sparrow. It has been associating with the Savannah and Song Sparrows. Look how well it blends in to the grass.
Plenty of Snow Buntings (below) have also enjoyed the exposed grasses. They have been a constant presence, sometimes with Horned Larks and American Pipits, because of the sizable snow depth.
Amazingly, spring is already on the way. Twan heard a male cardinal singing away yesterday morning during the brief warm-up after the mixed bag system. That guy is going to quiet down for a couple of weeks, but it is only a month until that is commonplace.
Photos © Scott Kruitbosch
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
James Prosek, noted author and painter who resides in Connecticut signed copies of his most recent book, "Eels" for Connecticut Audubon Society's Membership Drive. "Eels" recently received a great review in the New York Times by Paul Greenberg. You can receive a copy of "Eels" through your membership in the Society. ... Your membership will help us actively manage 2600 acres of wildlife habitat holding 19 sanctuaries statewide. In addition we care for over 50 injured wildlife who then serve as education ambassadors to help teach science in local schools. Our staff at five centers and two museums across the state work daily within their respective communities to spark an appreciation for the environment and conservation. To learn how to become a member or renew your membership and recieve a copy of James Prosek's book, visit us at www.ctaudubon.org or call 203-259-6305, Ext. 102.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Today reminded me of this video I shot back in 2009 of birds coming to my yard and feeders during a storm that gave us even more freezing rain. Be safe out there!
Monday, January 17, 2011
Besides some amazing cloud features, especially where they interact with the mountains to our north, you can see Connecticut and the region are buried in the white stuff. Nantucket is just about the only place you can find the brown earth. Yes, it is magnificent...but why I am showing you this? To make the obvious point of how hard it must be to be a bird that depends on the ground right now. Sparrows cannot scratch at the leaf litter, raptors cannot easily strike at small mammals scurrying around, woodcock cannot pull up earthworms, etc. There are numerous species that are in mortal danger in situations like this, where entire regions have at least 16 or 18 inches of snow cover. Many birds have likely succumb to the conditions or lack of food. Feeding the birds in your yard is a good first step, but using eBird allows us to track species populations over time and will help us learn what kind of an impact these events have.
Photo © NASA/GSFC, MODIS Rapid Response System
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Your first clue came in where I said it was photographed, the coastal grasslands of Stratford Point. Habitat is often a large clue in determining the species of many birds, and though sometimes you can see an individual outside of their typical haunts, this isn't the case here. Another clue is the size of the bird sitting on an American Kestrel box. Does it look like it could be squeezing through that hole? I do not think so. It is obviously quite a bit larger than a kestrel. So now, we have a large raptor that prefers grasslands or at least open areas.
That large size dismisses all falcons. It is the winter in Connecticut, so something like a Broad-winged Hawk can be disregarded for now, too. The accipiter family also looks too small and narrow, and they do not display quite the degree of white on the head and especially the face. How about a Northern Harrier? It is in the right habitat at the right time of year, but their wings and bodies are much more slender. This is a bulky bird.
It is the daytime, so our owl options are limited. Clearly, this is not a Snowy Owl based on color alone. The face and head are too small and lack the facial discs and distinctive eyes of a Short-eared Owl, apart from the fact the wings would be even longer. We seem to be getting down to it, as this raptor must be a member of the buteo family. Red-shouldered Hawks prefer woods and wetlands, and the upperparts would have much more white in them. It would be a bit small for this bird, though it's getting closer. The two best candidates appear to be Red-tailed Hawk and Rough-legged Hawk. The common former species utilizes a variety of habitats year-round in Connecticut. An adult Red-tailed Hawk would show the red tail, even if it were tough to see, in this photo. It is possible it could be a juvenile, though the extensive white on the face and the fact it is sitting in the middle of the coastal grasslands right on the mouth of the Housatonic would have to lead one to believe they are watching a Rough-legged Hawk in prime hunting grounds.
In fact, this light morph Rough-legged Hawk was at Stratford Point on December 28 and 29. The still distant but full-sized photo is below.
The Rough-legged Hawk hovers while hunting, making it strikingly reminiscent of the White-tailed Kite. If you were watching it, there would be no doubt as to the identification of the species from this behavior and the distinctive undersides. We often get this rare raptor at Stratford Point in the winter. While this bird moved on, come visit us to see if we pick up another soon.
Photos © Scott Kruitbosch
Friday, January 14, 2011
CORNWALL 28.0 450 PM 1/12 MOHAWK MTN SKI AREA
WOODBURY 28.0 500 PM 1/12 WOODBURY SKI AREA
CANAAN 27.0 506 PM 1/12 WEATHERNET6
SHARON 24.8 443 PM 1/12 WEATHERNET6
2 N SOUTH CANAAN 24.5 500 PM 1/12 CT DOT NORTH CANAAN
1 SE WINSTED 24.0 1200 PM 1/12 COCORAHS
BAKERSVILLE 22.2 645 AM 1/13 CO-OP OBSERVER
NORFOLK 21.7 800 AM 1/13 CO-OP OBSERVER
NEW PRESTON 21.0 230 PM 1/12 TRAINED SPOTTER
LITCHFIELD 20.0 500 PM 1/12 CT DOT
3 NNW WINSTED 20.0 200 PM 1/12 COCORAHS
THOMASTON 18.0 500 PM 1/12 CT DOT
TORRINGTON 17.0 324 PM 1/12 TRAINED SPOTTER
WINCHESTER CENTER 17.0 500 PM 1/12 CT DOT
MANCHESTER 27.0 554 PM 1/12 HAM RADIO
GLASTONBURY 25.5 540 PM 1/12 HAM RADIO
NEW BRITAIN 24.3 545 PM 1/12 HAM RADIO
ELLINGTON 24.0 236 PM 1/12 HAM RADIO
SIMSBURY 24.0 123 PM 1/12 HAM RADIO
WINDSOR LOCKS 24.0 936 PM 1/12 BRADLEY AIRPORT
BRISTOL 23.0 1120 AM 1/12 SPOTTER
SOUTH WINDSOR 22.1 420 PM 1/12 NWS EMPLOYEE
WEST HARTFORD 22.0 244 PM 1/12 HAM RADIO
WETHERSFIELD 22.0 240 PM 1/12 HAM RADIO
VERNON 21.6 1149 AM 1/12 HAM RADIO
SUFFIELD 21.0 551 PM 1/12 HAM RADIO
BURLINGTON 21.0 138 PM 1/12
ENFIELD 21.0 1148 AM 1/12 HAM RADIO
FARMINGTON 20.3 100 PM 1/12
EAST HARTFORD 20.0 1158 AM 1/12 HAM RADIO
BERLIN 18.0 159 PM 1/12
EAST GRANBY 18.0 100 PM 1/12
GRANBY 17.5 1150 AM 1/12 HAM RADIO
SOUTHINGTON 17.0 1252 PM 1/12 HAM RADIO
UNIONVILLE 16.2 139 PM 1/12
GRANBY (2MI SW) 16.0 1245 PM 1/12 NWS EMPLOYEE
NORTH GRANBY 14.8 730 PM 1/12
AVON 14.0 100 PM 1/12
STAFFORDVILLE 29.0 726 PM 1/12
TOLLAND 25.5 649 AM 1/13
ELLINGTON 24.0 539 PM 1/12 HAM RADIO
SOMERS 23.5 745 PM 1/12
STAFFORD SPRINGS 23.3 755 PM 1/12
VERNON 23.0 538 PM 1/12 HAM RADIO
UNION 19.0 300 PM 1/12
STORRS 17.5 425 PM 1/12 SPOTTER
MANSFIELD 17.0 100 PM 1/12
POMFRET 22.0 825 PM 1/12 HAM RADIO
EAST KILLINGLY 21.0 639 PM 1/12
MOOSUP 21.0 620 PM 1/12 GENERAL PUBLIC
ASHFORD 19.0 328 PM 1/12
PUTNAM 17.0 300 PM 1/12
DANIELSON 16.0 826 PM 1/12 HAM RADIO
STERLING 15.7 1237 PM 1/12 HAM RADIO
SCOTLAND 13.5 352 PM 1/12
NEW FAIRFIELD 28.0 1050 AM 1/12 PUBLIC
NEWTOWN 27.0 840 AM 1/12 SKYWARN SPOTTER
WESTON 24.5 800 AM 1/12 SKYWARN SPOTTER
DANBURY 24.1 300 PM 1/12 SKYWARN SPOTTER
RIDGEFIELD 22.0 645 AM 1/12 PUBLIC
3 SSE BROOKFIELD 22.0 730 AM 1/12 COCORAHS
DANBURY 21.8 1000 AM 1/12 NWS COOP
WILTON 18.7 830 AM 1/12 PUBLIC
NEW CANAAN 18.0 915 AM 1/12 SKYWARN SPOTTER
DARIEN 17.5 1100 AM 1/12 CT DOT
WESTPORT 17.4 815 AM 1/12 SKYWARN SPOTTER
SHELTON 17.3 950 AM 1/12 PUBLIC
BRIDGEPORT 16.0 100 PM 1/12 NWS COOP
NORWALK 16.0 934 AM 1/12 PUBLIC
GREENWICH 15.5 250 PM 1/12 PUBLIC
STRATFORD 14.0 930 AM 1/12 PUBLIC
STAMFORD 14.0 800 AM 1/12 SKYWARN SPOTTER
HADDAM 22.0 214 PM 1/12 PUBLIC
PORTLAND 22.0 800 AM 1/13 COCORAHS
EAST HADDAM 21.5 335 PM 1/12 PUBLIC
CLINTON 21.0 1200 PM 1/12 PUBLIC
WESTBROOK 20.5 915 PM 1/12 PUBLIC
DEEP RIVER 20.0 1100 AM 1/12 PUBLIC
OLD SAYBROOK 17.5 300 PM 1/12 CT DOT
...NEW HAVEN COUNTY...
NORTH HAVEN 30.5 630 PM 1/12 PUBLIC
MERIDEN 29.0 120 PM 1/12 SKYWARN SPOTTER
SOUTHBURY 28.0 1120 AM 1/12 PUBLIC
CHESHIRE 25.5 300 PM 1/12 PUBLIC
GUILFORD 24.5 300 PM 1/12 PUBLIC
NORTH BRANFORD 24.0 1240 PM 1/12 PUBLIC
BETHANY 21.0 1220 PM 1/12 SKYWARN SPOTTER
SEYMOUR 20.0 1100 AM 1/12 PUBLIC
WATERBURY 20.0 100 PM 1/12 CT DOT
OXFORD 20.0 745 AM 1/12 PUBLIC
BRANFORD 19.8 1230 PM 1/12 PUBLIC
NEW HAVEN 19.0 1100 AM 1/12 CT DOT
MILFORD 18.0 1100 AM 1/12 CT DOT
BEACON FALLS 17.3 1100 AM 1/12 CT DOT
...NEW LONDON COUNTY...
OLD LYME 24.0 800 AM 1/13 PUBLIC
COLCHESTER 20.0 500 PM 1/12 CT DOT
NORWICH 17.0 100 PM 1/12 CT DOT
LISBON 16.9 300 PM 1/12 SKYWARN SPOTTER
QUAKER HILL 15.8 630 PM 1/12 COCORAHS
NORTH FRANKLIN 15.5 715 PM 1/12 PUBLIC
LEDYARD CENTER 15.0 300 PM 1/12 SKYWARN SPOTTER
GROTON 14.8 300 PM 1/12 CT DOT
GALES FERRY 14.0 110 PM 1/12 SKYWARN SPOTTER
WATERFORD 13.0 1000 AM 1/12 SKYWARN SPOTTER
STONINGTON 10.5 300 PM 1/12 SKYWARN SPOTTER
To be fair, some of those totals are suspect. Often enough one sees inflated totals when there have been repeated storms as people measure the total depth of snow (usually unintentionally) rather than what fell during the storm. Or they may have measured in a drift. Nevertheless, a few inches here or there still means much of the state saw over 20 inches, which is amazing. The North American short-range model (called the NAM) handled the system the best once it was within its 84 hour window. If your meteorologist was right about the high totals they likely trusted it and disregarded some other models.
Birders expected numerous unusual visitors to their feeders among masses of the typical species during and after the storm. When the earth is that buried ground-feeding species will obviously be unable to access it anywhere. So what happened? Very little, actually. I have read only a few reports of Rusty Blackbirds and Eastern Bluebird coming to yards. I heard about a couple Fox Sparrows and a few Pine Siskins. There were very few Common Redpolls and not a single Purple Finch reported. Only a couple Red-breasted Nuthatches showed up, and those were visiting their respective feeders all winter. There were no mega-rarities, and not even notable birds despite that snow! I do keep hearing stories of Red-tailed Hawks feeding in yards and Red-shouldered Hawks eating handouts of meat. Their primary prey - mammals - are tough to find in or get to through all that snow. Even more Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks came to feeders for the birds, too.
I think many half-hardy or rare feeder birds had already moved on south to better feeding territory after the Boxing Day Blizzard or subsequent inverted trough snowfall. It is very likely many had already succumb to the cold and snow, sadly. This storm may have taken the lives of more. Winter is a hard season - this is the natural (though sad) way of things. This year in particular has made things hard for the little ones. I was eagerly awaiting the Fox Sparrow and Rusty Blackbirds that had visited me only a couple weeks before during and after the Boxing Day Blizzard. They never came! In fact, while I had 28 species and more of a few than usual, none were that notable. Here's my list:
Wild Turkey 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Herring Gull (American) 2
Mourning Dove 10
Monk Parakeet 29
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2
Downy Woodpecker 4
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 2
Blue Jay 4
American Crow 7
Black-capped Chickadee 3
Tufted Titmouse 4
White-breasted Nuthatch 2
American Robin 2
Northern Mockingbird 1
European Starling 80
Song Sparrow 2
White-throated Sparrow 24
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) 53
Northern Cardinal 9
Red-winged Blackbird 110
Common Grackle 3
Brown-headed Cowbird 1
House Finch 6
American Goldfinch 13
House Sparrow 7
Did you have a sighting you wish to share? Leave us a comment!
Monday, January 10, 2011
The picture is small, isn't it? It is 25% of actual size. It is as if you had nothing but your eyes or possibly a pair of binoculars while watching it. So my question to you is...what is this raptor?! I will post the answer later this week.
Photo © Scott Kruitbosch
Sunday, January 9, 2011
This is a relatively simple process even if you have never done so before. The easiest way to do it is to visit http://reportband.gov/ - now that is a link anyone can remember! From there follow the steps outlined, selecting color marker, federal metal band, or both. You will be able to pick out what you saw from menus they provide (such as a leg band or wing marker, the colors and position of characters, etc.) and enter any numbers and letters on bands and markers. When completed you will very likely hear back relatively quickly, and the USGS will provide you with a PDF certificate of appreciation. The one below is what I received for this Canada Goose.
You can see the band characters listed - J184 - as well as the fact this goose is a male banded way back on June 25, 2003 when it was too young to fly. What was most fascinating to me was how little this soon to be eight year-old bird had moved, as it was born mere minutes away in Southport. That is not to say we have any idea where it has been its entire life, but I found the proximity to where it was banded to be notable. I hope this example shows you that it is worth taking the time and effort to report every marked or banded bird you come across, no matter what the species. Apart from helping scientific research you will get something quite engrossing in return for your efforts.
Friday, January 7, 2011
A group of Greater Scaup fly towards the large flock located off Cove Place, on the west side of Stratford Point
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Lynn Jones and I found this odd raptor on the Oxford CBC. It nearly made our heads explode trying to work out what it was.
It had a short white and black-banded tail with wider than normal white bands for a Red-shouldered, more like a Broad-winged Hawk, but the the wings didn't fit for Broad-winged. It acted like a Red-shoulder, sitting low in the forest, had a wing pattern mostly like a Red-shouldered, but it had a brown head, pale throat, and upper chests markings more like a Red-tailed.
I sent it off to Brian Wheeler and he forwarded it to Jerry Liguori. Both agreed that it's a possible Red-tailed x Red-shouldered Hybrid. Their response is below. Very cool.
Remarks from Brian Wheeler, author of several notable raptor guides:
"This looks more like a hybrid Red-tailed Hawk and Red-shouldered Hawk. The head is very red-tailed-like, as are the rufous sides of neck. Lack of distinct white barring on secondaries is interesting, too. There are some aberrant adult Red-shouldered Hawks with funky barring on the under parts, but this bird seems to have something other in it. It is not anything like a California type, either (western bird)."
"I sent your images to Jerry Liguori and both of us feel it is a possible hybrid with Red-tailed Hawk by head and ventral markings." ... "It has mix of Red-tailed Hawk characters on the head and some of under parts, and even on the wing."
Jerry Liguori's, also a notable raptor author, comments to Brian:
"At first glance, it looks like another hybrid RS x RT, it has RT traits on the underbody and RS-like upperparts and tail. I'd love to see other photos, but just from these, hybrid looks good."
Thanks to Frank for the amazing find, knowledge, and photos, and of course to Brian and Jerry for their additional expertise.
Photos © Frank Gallo
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
It was located along the edge of a field near a line of trees; no tracks leading up to it at all. When you click on the image to enlarge it, you can see the few blades of grass near the spot where an unsuspecting rodent left the safety of the snow pack overhead and poked its head out. Three deep imprints indicate the spot where the talons and the tail hit the deck - the left talon impressions is right on top of the rodent's burrow. A perfect imprint of both wings, showing all individual flight feathers completes the snow angel. There is no sign of struggle, just the briefest touchdown and a few drops of blood are all that remain. The unfortunate mouse or vole never saw it coming.
A pair of Red-tailed Hawks nests in the nearby tree line and I spotted a Great Horned Owl in the area earlier. The wing imprints look relatively wide with short primaries, so I am blaming the owl for this scene, but I don't know if it is possible to determine who the culprit was based on the forensic evidence. I certainly would appreciate your input.
Monday, January 3, 2011
Photo: Twan Leenders
Saturday, January 1, 2011
On 21 December 2010, I went to Longshore Country Club in Westport hoping to see and photograph the Cackling Goose I'd missed on my previous trip to the area. When I arrived, a large group of Canada Geese, some 250 or more, were feeding by the pond to the north of the entrance road. In with them was the Barnacle Goose that's been with the flock, and a small Canada-like goose that looked to be a Cackling Goose. At a distance, the Cackling Goose seemed a bit odd; it looked slightly larger than a Richardson's Cackling Goose, Branta hutchinsii hutchinsii, slightly longer necked, with a dark chest, rather than a pale one, and an odd head shape, rounded rather than flat-topped with a steep forehead.
The chinstrap looked different somehow, as well. I was able to get very close to the geese to study it, as they were intent on grazing on the grass. At first, I wondered if it might just be a Lesser Canada Goose, B. canadensis. parvipes, but it didn't look right for that either. The bird seemed to show characteristics of Taverner's Cackling Goose, B. h. taverneri, which breeds in Alaska, and normally winters in Oregon, Washington, and northern California.I studied it some more, took a lot of photographs, and headed home to look at them closely on my computer, and to check some references.
Mark Szantyr discovered a Taverner's Cackling Goose in Connecticut in Dec. 2007, the second documented in the Northeast, (the first was in MA, Oct. 2007) and I was anxious to view and compare my photos to his photos on line. I also sent copies of my images to him, Nick Bonomo, Greg Hanisek and others. Mark forwarded my photos to Steve Mlodinow, a Washington State birder, and authority on white-cheeked geese. While I awaited replies, I checked field guides and other references, and came to the conclusion that the bird was a very likely a Taverner's Cackling Goose based on a combination of characters mentioned earlier.
Nick, Mark, and Greg, all agreed that it was not a typical B. h. hutchinsii, and we awaited word from Steve. Later that evening I received Steve's reply... "Yes sir... they don't come any more classic than that. Nice bulge at base of mandible, head shape great, feather edgings w/in range of taverneri, wrong for minima. Bulky looking. Cheek patch shape normal for Taverner's, not normal for Richardson's."
Fantastic! It's exciting to document another Taverner's Goose in Connecticut.
For more information on how to separate the white-cheeked geese, including Taverner's, see the following links, kindly provided by Nick Bonomo:
Our thanks to Steve, Mark, Nick, and Greg for their input!
Photos © Frank Gallo