Check All of Them

GBP Notes 10/4/20

Good Morning GreatBirdPics members!  

I lugged my tripod out to Hidden Lake Forest Preserve on a beautiful day yesterday with high hopes of getting some great shots on a sunny morning.  Unfortunately all the birds must have been waiting in line to vote, cause I sure didn’t see many of them.  I was disappointed that one of the few blue sky with sun shining days went to waste as I walked back to the parking lot.  As I approached the lot I saw lots of Canada Geese out in the lake and being a good “do-bee” I proceed to count them all for my eBird checklist.  As I approached 100 birds I saw a blob of white mixed in with all the black/brown/tan colors of the Canada Geese.  As I trained my binoculars on the bird I could tell it had a white head and  brownish body.  I wasn’t sure what it was, but it sure wasn’t a Canada Goose!  Here’s what I saw:

Note the white “blob” on the 12th bird from the right.


I threw my camera and tripod over my shoulder and trudged off to the other side of the lake to get a closer view.  Once there I could tell this was a dark morph Snow Goose.  There is a white morph and dark morph Snow Goose; the white morph is all white this time of year and the dark morph only has a white head.  Here’s what it looked like among the Canada Geese:


Here is closeup and a picture of it next to a Canada Goose:

Dark morph Snow Goose

Canada Goose above/left, Snow Goose below/right.


According to eBird the Snow Goose is seldom seen in this area.  It flew in with all the Canada Geese and it was gone within an hour (before Birding Buddy Mark made it there).  Moral of the story – check out every bird, even if it looks like there are 100 Canada Geese.  Or a flock of 100 European Starlings with a Brown-headed Cowbird with them.  Or 100 Red-winged Blackbirds with a Rusty Blackbird mixed in.  Check all of them – one could be quite different.  Happy Birding!



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