• Pink-footed goose

    Common NamePink-footed goose
    Scientific NameAnser brachyrhynchus
    Type of ReportRare Species
    Date of Observation03/16/2017
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    Number Observed1
    Reporting Observer's NameJ. Eddy Edwards Edwards
    Mailing Address85 Courser Road
    Enosburg Falls, Vermont 05450
    United States
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    EmailEmail hidden; Javascript is required.
    Date Completed03/20/2017
    Names & Emails of Other Contributing Observers

    Jim Mead (photos in ebird)
    Henry Trombley (photos in ebird)
    Dick Lavallee
    Dwight Cargill
    and MOB

    Latitude of Observation44.7993487
    Longitude of Observation-73.1560278
    Place NameSt. Albans Bay
    Vermont eBird Checklist URLebird.org
    Time of Day09:20 AM
    Length of Time Observed1 hour and 15 minutes
    Maximum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)130
    Minimum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)150
    Noteworthy Weather Conditions

    Partly cloudy, Sun angle not a factor in detecting colors in the bird. Light wind. Lake mostly iced over.

    Optical Equipment Used for Observation

    Lecia 60 power spotting scope, Swarovski EL 8.5 x 42 binoculars, Canon 7D Mark II with 100-400 mm lens.

    Observer’s Previous Acquaintance With This or Similar Species

    Observer had one previous encounter on 2-24-17 at Rockland, ME (Waldo Ave). Also very familiar with greater white-fronted goose.

    I certify that that attachments included with this report were captured during this observation event​​.
    Description of Habitat

    Large open water bay. 98% frozen. Mixed with thousands of Canada geese and a single greater white-fronted goose, and various ducks.

    Behaviors Observed

    Bird was first observed resting on the ice with head tucked in it's wing. For a brief period it stood up and swam in a small open water area with other Canada geese. It was aware of the observer and swam away when approached. Acted like a wild bird.

    Description of Vocalizations

    None noted.

    Verbal Narrative & Description of Observation

    First was first observed resting with Canada geese on the ice with it's head tuck into it's wing. The bird was in the exact location as a greater white-fronted goose was two days earlier, but this bird lacked the dark spotting in the breast. The observer knew that the bird was either a juvenile white-fronted goose or a pink-footed goose and waited for the bird to raise it's head. Once the bird raised the head the observer confirmed that the bird was a pink-footed goose. No consultation with field guides since the observer had recently (Feb) reviewed field guides for pink-footed geese while birding in Maine. Field marks are described below.

    Relative Size & Shape

    Smaller than Canada geese but larger than a cackling goose. Medium size goose similar to size as a snow goose.


    Smaller head for a goose. Dark brown head and neck. Coloration uniform. Dark eye.

    Feet & Bill

    Legs and feet pink. No bands in leg and hind toe was present on both legs. Bill smaller in size and two tone. Dark at the base and tip and pink in the middle of the upper and lower culmen.

    Upper Back

    Scapulars on the upper back were grayish with "dirty" white edging on the tips of the feathers.

    Lower Back & Rump

    Similar color as the upper back.


    Wings remain folded next to the body during the observation period. It appeared to have white edging on the secondaries/tertials. Primaries looked to be dark in color. Average size wing.

    Breast, Belly, Flanks, Under Tail Coverts

    Breast buffy tan. Abrupt change from the dark brown neck. No spots in the breast. The bird had a thin white horizontal line between the lower wing line and the flanks which is also found on Greater white-fronted geese. Vent was white.


    Average size goose tail. Multi color white and some dark brown.

    IMPORTANT: What similar species were eliminated when making the identification and how was this bird different?

    Greater white-fronted goose (Juvenile). Both lack dark spots in the breast, however this bird had pink legs/feet compare to orange for greater white-fronted geese. Also the pink and dark bill fits for pink-footed geese. White-fronted geese have a solid orange colored bill. Finally white-fronted geese have a white marking around the base of the bill which this bird obviously did not have.

    Bean goose. Rare in North America. Again the bill of this bird was dark and pink whereas the Bean goose has a two tone bill consisting of dark and yellow. Feet color also favors a pink-footed goose compared to the orange feet of the bean goose.

    Other Notes & Comments


    This report was written from notes taken:Written from Memory

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