Canadian Honker Coloration Question
04-06-2012, 07:35 PM
Hope it is appropriate to post this in this forum.
These geese came in today to compete with the ruling pair of Canadians in my pond. They lost.
I was wondering if anyone could offer some information about the light coloration of the one on the left.
Included the near flight image to show the back coloring.
I haven't seen this before and wondered how common it might be.
Cropped and Clarified in LR. Combined in CS6.
Nikon D700, 70-200mm @ 200mm
ETL Moderator- Staff Ornithologist
04-07-2012, 08:51 AM
Hi Steve- There are "Isabelline" colour varieties in some species where there is reduced dark pigment and the blacks tend to look beige or lion-coloured. If this were the case here I would have expected the head and neck to be affected as well. I see the head of the light bird is quite light but the neck looks normal.
On Sibley's excellent web site he provides a full discussion of the now two species of Canada Geese and mentions that there is substantial colour variation between individuals which is related to subspecies and geographic area. You could simply be seeing an extreme form of this variation here.
Here's Sibley's write-up:
04-07-2012, 03:07 PM
Thanks John. Appreciate your quick response and reference page. Yes, the neck was only slightly lighter.