Coincidentally, just days after my last post about the two White-fronted Geese in Concord, two White-fronted Geese showed up in Amherst, Massachusetts (about 60 miles west of Concord, but not the same birds) that appear to be one Greenland and one North American type. James Smith has some discussion and really nice photos on his blog, and he’s allowed me to post some of the photos here.
- neck, head and bill larger and bulkier than the North American-type
- neck and head more uniform and darker brownish
- scapulars with slightly narrower and less contrasting pale edges
- white border on flank feathers narrower
- pale tips on median and greater coverts narrower and less contrasting, not bright white
- pale edges on tertials slightly narrower and less white
- bill bright orange (and James says the color is accurate and this bird was truly very orange-billed) which may be useful even though we know how unreliable bill color can be, and the other bird happens to be a fairly obviously pink-billed individual, providing a strong contrast. One thing I noticed on the Concord birds, and again here, is that the North American bird has a fairly obvious whitish tip on the bill, while the Greenland bird does not.