Home | What's New | About Martin | Contact | Can I use these Images? | General Links |
 Gulls | Other Birds: Identification | Other Birds: Interesting/Unusual | Dragonflies | Butterflies | Other Wildlife | Scenics | Places
Bird Links |

This white goose was photographed at Benbrook Lake, near Fort Worth, Texas in late November 1999 by Patty Williams. Note the rather long bill with a slight bulge over the nostrils and strong "grinning patch", limited bluish-gray patch basally on the bill, and the straight edge to most of the bill base feathering except for a strong indentation at the top - to me these all point strongly to a hybrid Snow x Ross's Goose:

- I scanned a couple of my pics of a Ross's Goose that wintered with some tame geese last year (Dec 98 - Feb 99) at Lake Worth, intending to use them as a benchmark against which to measure the bill features of the above bird - but instead found myself wondering about the parentage of even this individual; is the very strong "grinning patch" shown by this bird within the normal range of variation for pure Ross's Goose? - all the photos I can find show birds with a much less-striking "grinning patch" - yet the bill shape and extent of blue (complete with small protuberances) appears normal for this species:

In addition to the top individual photographed by Patty, there are three "white geese roosting most evenings (since Nov 25 until at least Dec 13, 1999) at Benbrook Lake: an adult blue Snow, an apparent immature white Ross's (appears to have right size and bill shape), and an adult white bird that looks to be intermediate between the other two birds in size and bill shape.
Given the huge increase in both Snow and Ross's Geese - especially on the shared wintering grounds where individuals may end up moving north mixed in with the wrong species - can we expect to see an increase in hybrids?