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Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens)

Posted on Dec 13, 2014

I recently spotted this odd-looking periscope coming out of the…grass of a golf course. As it came out of the green it revealed itself as a blue/dark morph, or “Blue Goose” Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens).  The Snow Goose has rapidly increased in abundance in the last few decades in part due to their ability to use farm fields and other agricultural areas. This is another case of how easy it is for the species, along with the Canada Goose, to find a place to hang out thanks to the intensely manicured golf course. These are the same reasons why it seems silly to me to keep the grass mowed so tightly around airports as it is creating habitat for sizable flocks large waterfowl to forage and rest instead of allowing it to grow for usage by lesser numbers of drastically smaller and lighter passerines that would make far less of an impact on a plane in the event of a collision. Thankfully there is finally some slow progress on that issue on a national level as habitat management may be changing around our airports.

Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens) blue goose morph head and neck over grass golf course-0123

Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens) blue goose morph on golf course with Canada Geese-0156

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator