Re: Cackling Geese Population

Raymond Perry

This looked interesting so I perused the Kingbird archives for sightings of large groups of Cackling Goose in NYS. I wanted to know how  often 30 or more Cackling Geese have been observed in NY  I did not do an exhaustive search but I did find some interesting reports.
The highest count I found was 81 from Oak Orchard WMA on March 12, 2010 and 79 on March 14, 2010. There may have been overlap between the two sets of observations. Other observations included:
41 Hamlin Beach Nov. 2, 2014
39 Seneca Lake SP Nov. 2, 2017
37 Hartland (Niagara County) Mar. 11 and Mar. 20, 2011
37 Seneca Lake SP Mar. 5, 2018
35 Iroquois NWR Oct. 25, 2012
31 Town of Danby Feb 27, 2018
30 Hartland Mar. 24, 2013
Additionally there were 9 observations of 20-29 and 35 between 10-19. 
Central and Western NY accounted for all the observation I could find of 10 or more Cackling Geese. Observations  in the Hudson Mohawk region were 1-2 individuals 
The records I looked at were from 2010-2018. 
The Cackling Goose was not split out as a separate species until 2004. It was not often reported as a subspecies  until the 1990’s so early records may under represent them
The eBird report I saw was from Niagara on March 15,2010, 79 birds by Jim Pawlicki which would be the same record as the one referenced above (in spite of the one day difference in dates) 

On Dec 23, 2021, at 7:31 PM, zach schwartz-weinstein <zachsw@...> wrote:

Hi Scott,

In short, no, probably not.  We are a thousand miles east of the core winter range of Richardson’s Cackling Goose, the easternmost subspecies of cackling.  Any large gatherings are likely to be mostly or entirely one of the Canada populations.  There is one record of 79 cackling geese in eBird from the finger lakes eleven years ago, but we don’t get numbers anywhere near that in our region.  The best way to settle this would be photo documentation, of course.

On Thu, Dec 23, 2021 at 7:22 PM Scott Varney <scottvarney1968@...> wrote:
I have a question.  Is it possible to have a population (about 30 birds) of Cackling Geese in our region?  

Each day (during the cold season) I drive along Route 29 from Salem to Schuylerville, following the bends of the Battenkill River.  In Greenwich, near Heppatica Way (a private lane), I have been seeing approximately 30 Geese that are all stubby-billed and slightly larger than a Mallard duck. 

They keep themselves upsream and isolated from the much larger Canada Geese that are found on the much wider portions of the river closer to the village.  I see them every day in the winter at 7:15 am and again at about 2:45 pm.   There is nowhere to park the car and traffic is a bit scary.  

Has anyone else noticed this flock?  

Tomorrow (day off work), I'm going to park at the Town beach and trek to the spot with my camera...and hopefully solve my 3-year long riddle...and yes, I know about the smaller subspecies of Canada Geese.

Share your thoughts?

Scott Varney
Salem, NY

Zach Schwartz-Weinstein
203 500 7774

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