Hybrid Ross's x Snow goose at MLK Arrowhead


David Yeamans
 

My opinion on the reported Ross's goose at MLK Arrowhead Marsh is that it's a hybrid ROGO x SNGO. The photos at https://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41217522 show:

1. Smaller size than SNGO (But that in itself isn't enough to make the ROGO determination.)
2. Flat head rather than rounded, making the forehead/bill angle less than ROGO and greater than SN
GO,
3. Bill has a grin patch smaller than SNGO and bigger than ROGO.

The hybrid is a definite possibility, and, just for interest, less likely than the ROGO.

I hunted again in Saskatchewan this year with two wildlife biologists from FWS.gov.  One got very excited when he found a hybrid in our daily bag. He called over the other expert (they both studied snow geese in Canada for their graduate school work). The other expert, without coaching, made the same call -- hybrid. I took a cell phone photo of the bird flanked by a ROGO and a SNGO. The hybrid looks just like the one at MLK.


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